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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 241                                Email us
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This is a week that is full of Christmas events
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The prelude to Christmas gets into high gear this week.

Wednesday, the public schools finish the 2015 term. The same day the Museo Nacional has an all-day Christmas festival.

"The Nutcracker" continues Tuesday through Friday at the Teatro Nacional and ends with a double performance Sunday.

The Little Theatre Group will be presenting seven performances of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens throughout the week, ending Sunday.

Saturday is the Festival de la Luz, the Christmas parade that attracts up to a million spectators to downtown San José.

And nearly every Costa Rican will be glued to the television Sunday as the winners of the Gordo Christmas lottery are determined. The top four prizes are $2.66 million each.


'Nutcracker'

"The Nutcracker," El Cascanueces in Spanish, is a staple for children at Christmas, but not all the dancers in the ballet are young. Top dancers from the Russian Republic, the Czech Republic and New York have the leads.

Also performing are students from 25 Costa Rican ballet schools who auditioned in July and have been practicing since. The Sunday performances are at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., all at the Teatro Nacional.


'Christmas Carol'

The staged narration of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens was
adapted and designed especially for the Little Theatre Group by Annette Hallett, the English-language theatrical organization said.  The performances will feature a cast of 13 players creating more
Christmas Carol
than 30 different Dickensian characters, including, of course, the iconic Ebenezer Scrooge, it added. The location is 27 Calle Rose, Escazú.

There will be seating for only 40 persons at each performance, and there will be a total of seven performances Wednesday and Sunday. Entry is by donation.  Performances start


stands
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
Spectator stands intrude on main streets.
portal
Museo Nacional photo
The 100-year-old nativity statues

Wednesday to Friday at 7:30 p.m. There is a
matinee at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and also Sunday with an evening performance Sunday at 7:30 p.m, said the organization. Reservations and more information can be found at the Little Theatre Group Web site or by calling 8858-1446.


Christmas fiesta

The event at the Museo Nacional Wednesday includes at 9 a.m. blessing of the portal or nativity scene. The event is free and open to the public and includes workshops, a Christmas concert, a chorus and typical foods.

There also is a session of story telling at 10 a.m. and a concert at 11 a.m. by the Orchestra Sinfónica at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

There are workshops for children in the afternoon and a closing concert at 2 p.m. by the chorus of Hospital Clinica Biblica.

The nativity scene at the museum featured the life-size statues that are more than 100 years old. The statues were part of the nativity scene when the Sisters of Charity ran Clinica Biblica. When the nuns surrendered the hospital, the statues went to the museum.



Festival de la Luz

The big Christmas parade is sponsored by the Municipalidad de San José with support from major corporations. Police and Cruz Roja volunteers are involved in a major effort to keep parade viewers safe.

This is the 20th anniversary of the event, and the festivities start with activities in Paseo Colón at 3 p.m. mainly for younger children. The main parade is supposed to step off  at 6 p.m. but usually begins late.

Workmen already are putting up the spectator stands for the parade along Paseo Colón and Avenida Segunda, and traffic police have issued a warning that the lanes will be restricted because of the work and the stands.


The Gordo

Until sometime after 7 p.m. Sunday when the winning number is picked, Costa Ricans can plan how they will handle $2.66 million or a fraction, depending on how much of a full lottery ticket they hold.

The full ticket or entero costs 70,000 colons, and the chances of winning are slim. Yes every year some Costa Ricans win because they picked the correct three-digit series and the correct two digit number. There are lesser prizes, too, and the Junta de Protección Social distributes millions to the country's social agencies.


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A.M. Costa Rica's 
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 241
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Teatro Jacó plans play about AA origins

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

In partnership with New York University's Langone Medical Center and their Initiative on Alcoholism and its Treatment, Teatro Jacó and Soho Playhouse are presenting the international bilingual tour of Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey’s critically-acclaimed play, "Bill W. and Dr. Bob," with only four dates in Costa Rica.

The official Spanish showings are on Thursday, Dec. 17, and Sunday Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The official English showings will be on Friday Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Further opportunities for learning and discussion will take place through talkbacks after each show led by the two playwrights and other representatives from the production, said Teatro Jacó.

"Bill W. and Dr. Bob" is described as the inspiring and often humorous story of the two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous, and their supportive wives, who founded Al Anon.

In January the play will be at the Soho Playhouse in New York City and in February at the Long Center in Austin, Texas.

Directed by Darren Lee Cole, SoHo Playhouse and Teatro Jacó artistic director, this particular revival of the internationally recognized show embarks on a few firsts in the theater community.

Not only is this the first time a highly-revered educational and medical institution is using theater as a medium to educate the public and their students, but it’s also the first time the show will be presented in both English and Spanish with the hope of sparking dialogue about addiction to a wider audience, said Teatro Jacó.

Three Costa Ricans and three Americans will reprise the roles. Overall, the vision of this production is to celebrate the power of recovery, educate the public and health-care community about the disease of alcoholism by breaking down barriers and stigmas, and support outreach to all who still suffer and their friends and loved ones, said Teatro Jacó.

The theater gave this summary:

In 1929, New York stockbroker Bill Wilson crashed with the stock market and became a hopeless drunk. Bob Smith, a surgeon from Ohio, had also been an alcoholic for 30 years, often going into the operating room with a hangover.

Through an astonishing series of events, the two men are brought together and, realizing that “the only thing that can keep a drunk sober is telling his story to another drunk,” forge a relationship.

They help each other stay sober, and then pass on what they’ve learned to others. This drama that rides on humor and tells the extraordinary story of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, which many studies, often from the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York University School of Medicine, have shown is the most effective long-term treatment of this disease because of its emphasis on connection and community.

It also goes to the heart of what the practice of medicine is all about: the risk of isolation, and the healing power of good connection. Nearly eight decades later, having never promoted itself, AA spans over 170 countries, with an estimated total of over 114,000 groups and more than two million members worldwide.

“Alcoholism is a great health care challenge and is deserving of attention in medical training and in the practice of medicine,” said Robert I. Grossman, dean and CEO of the Langone Medical Center.

“We believe this play can be used as a tool to help increase the focus and training of our medical staff and students on the diagnosis and the treatment of this disease, and we are pleased to be part of an initiative which uses theatre as a medium to both inspire and educate the public at large about this important topic,” he said.

Playwrights Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey said this:

 “In 1986, as doctors treating alcoholics and addicts, we came across the great American success story of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith and felt The Muse tap us on our shoulders: 

The playwrights said they had several goals: to write a great, historically-accurate play that anyone, not just recovering drunks, would love, that would touch, amuse, inspire, educate, do service, and heal, a play that would do good in the world. 

At the Teatro in Playa Jacó, the tickets are on sale for 8,000 colons for all shows and can be purchased at www.teatrojaco.com and more information can be found at www.billwanddrbob.com.

This production is not-for-profit, through donations to the SoHo Playhouse, a 501c3 organization.



No big change for new Sixaola span

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new bridge between Costa Rica and Pamamá in Sixaola will be in the same location as the existing railway bridge, a commission from both countries has decided.

The commission said the decision was based on soil studies and the fact that other projects will take place to protect the channel of the Río Sixaola.

The aging rail bridge used to be the only span between the two countries. It was converted to vehicle use. A new bailey bridge now carries vehicle traffic. The new bridge is supposed to be for both vehicles and pedestrians.


Reventazón project flow stopped

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad reports that a second tunnel has been closed at the Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Reventazón. That means there is a pause in filling the 700-hectare reservoir while tests are being carried out on the dam structure.

The reservoir is fed by two 14-meter tunnels that bring water from the Río Reventazón. The first tunnel was closed in October.

With the delay in filling the reservoir, company personnel are continuing to rescue wildlife that may be trapped by the water level, said the company.

Eventually the reservoir will hold 300 million cubic meters of water. Eventually the water will feed turbines for electrical generation, but that facility is not yet completed.

The maximum level of the reservoir is expected to be reached next year, depending on the flow of the river, said the company.

A network of hundreds of sensors has been set up around the reservoir. The addition of the water to the land will apply weight that has not been there previously. Neighbors already have complained that the actions of building the dam have caused shifts in the landscape.


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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 241
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There's a good chance motorists will have to pay ministry's marchamo
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Hacienda is acting as if there will not be a Sala IV decision that affects the way the marchamo or road tax is figured for each vehicle.

Some motorists have seen a dramatic increase in the marchamo assessed against their vehicle. In one case, the owner of an older vehicle said that the marchamo for 2016 was double what was assessed in 2015.

The bulk of the increase comes from taxes on the value of the vehicle even though the ministry assesses a 13 percent tax on the sale of the marchamo.

Reporters for Spanish-language news outlets have compared the ministry's values with those of vehicles on used car lots and found that in many cases, the ministry was much higher, perhaps as much as 20 to 25 percent. That means the taxes also will be proportionately higher.

On the other hand, some older vehicles have been assessed for about that same amount. A 1993 Kia Sportage, for example, has been assessed 72,150 colons for 2016, up about 2,700 from this year.

Still collections seem to be slow, perhaps as more vehicle owners await news of the Sala IV constitutional court filing.
The Instituto Nacional de Seguros said that 138,981 marchamos had been issued by 4 p.m. Friday.

Even if the Sala IV agrees that the ministry violated rights by incorrectly computing the marchamos, magistrates probably will not order that the excess money be returned to motorists.

That same situation developed with the tax on corporations. The court found the tax to be unconstitutional for technical reasons in January, but they said that the tax still could be collected for 2015.

Some lawyers expressed amazement, but the courts also are tied to the national budget.

The same condition may develop this year, although there probably will not be any decision before the Dec. 31 deadline for paying the marchamo without penalty.

The court may decide that the ministry messed up the computations but that motorists should pay the amount anyway while the ministry fixes its system for the 2017 marchamos.


Police say herd of horses was encountered in deplorable condition
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police on patrol in Los Robles in the canton of Los Chiles came upon three men driving horses into Costa Rica from Nicaragua.

Police said that the horses were in deplorable condition and some were close to death.

Two of the men who were mounted fled, but a third was detained, said police. The location is just a kilometer from the border.

Police also encountered a man in a truck a short distance away, but the man denied all knowledge of the horses, police said.

Police said the animals were malnourished and covered with ticks. Some were lame and some even were blind.

Although police confiscated the animals in conjunction with the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal, many probably will

horses
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Police officer gestures in field with the malnourished horses.

have to be put down after being inspected.

Police did not say why the animals were being brought into Costa Rica, but a possibility would be to be slaughtered and processed.


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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
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Maduro's socialists routed in Venezuelan legislative elections
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Election officials in Venezuela say the opposition has won control of the legislature, delivering a stunning defeat to the ruling socialist party, the Movimiento Quinta República.

Authorities say the opposition with some districts yet to be counted has won 99 of the 167 seats in the Asamblea Nacional, with the socialist party winning just 46 seats, a major setback for the long-dominant, ruling socialists who have led the country for 16 years.

President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised address he recognizes what he called the adverse results.

Just before the official results were announced, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles wrote on Twitter "The results are as we expected. Venezuela won."

Fireworks went off in Caracas after the election results were released.

Analysts say the vote was essentially a referendum on the socialist economic policies of late president Hugo Chávez and his handpicked successor, President Maduro.

A survey last month estimated that 55.6 percent of voters would back the opposition coalition.

Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves, but plunging oil prices have left the South American country with one of the world's highest inflation rates, widespread product shortages and long lines to shop for basics.

Opposition leaders have long accused the administrations of Chavez and Maduro of repressing dissenting voices and jailing rival politicians and activists.

In the most recent event to trigger national anxieties ahead of the elections, Venezuelan authorities arrested three people last week accused of killing opposition candidate Luis Diaz in the central state of Guarico.

Diaz was shot in late November while attending a political rally alongside Lilian Tintori, the wife of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo López. Government officials denied any link to Diaz's death.

Saturday Maduro met with the former heads of state of Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica and Spain who are serving as international observers of the election.  

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8479-9/11/14

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Real estate rental services (paid category)

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
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: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
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8784-2/19/16


Real estate for rent (paid category)
rental home

2-bedroom, 1-bath furnished house inside gated farm.

Close to town. $650  includes electric, Internet, WiFi, cable TV, water. Santa Barbara de Heredia
American owner lives on site. Quiet. Secure.
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8857-12/23/15

Palamres

Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page: palmarescostarica.us
8849-12/13/15

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $600-$650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8826-1/16/16



Beautiful Apartment

Lemur del Bosque
for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, El Bosque, furnished 2-bedroom,1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV WiFi, large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8810-11/24/15
Lemur




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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 241
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Obama
White House photo  
Obama delivers his talk from the Oval Office.

Obama counsels against fear,
but rejects a U.S. ground war

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Following the recent attack in California, President Barack Obama has called on Americans not to give in to fear, while trying to assure the public that he and his administration take the threat of terrorism seriously.

In a rare speech from the Oval Office in the White House, Obama Sunday night said the FBI is still gathering facts about what happened last week in San Bernardino, California. He added there is no evidence yet that the two killers involved were part of a broader terror network overseas.

He said the U.S. has hardened its defenses against terrorist threats and stressed the U.S. military has relentlessly pursued terrorist networks overseas.

But he noted that terrorists are now turning to what he called less complicated attacks like what happened in California.

Obama said he understands that Americans are asking if "we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure." He vowed "we will destroy ISIL," using an acronym for the Islamic State terror group.

He promised the U.S. military will hunt down terrorist leaders in any country where they hide. He also said the U.S. will continue to provide training and equipment to Syrian and Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State on the ground. And he said the U.S. is working with friends and allies, and that the international community has begun to pursue a timeline to bring an end to the Syrian war.

Obama said he has ordered the Department of State and Homeland Security to review the visa waiver program under which the female killer in California got into the United States.

He called on Congress to make sure no one on a no-fly list can buy a gun. And he said again that the United States must make it harder for people to buy assault weapons.

The president said these are the steps we can take together to defeat the terrorist threat.

He added we should not be drawn once again into a long and drawn-out war on the ground in Iraq or Syria. He said that's what the Islamic State wants The United States to do.

He stressed that the country cannot let this war be defined as a struggle between America and Islam. He said that, too, is what the Islamic State wants.

​The president said Muslim leaders must work with the United States to reject hateful ideology that al-Qaida and the Islamic State promote. He also said it is the responsibility of all Americans of every faith to reject the notion that Muslim Americans must be treated differently. He said that plays into the hands of the Islamic State

He insisted "we are on the right side of history." And he said he is confident that the West will win this fight against terrorism.

"Let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear," Obama added.

U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and wounded 21 at a gathering of local government workers last Wednesday in San Bernardino, about an hour's drive east of Los Angeles.

 They also planted a pipe bomb that failed to go off before fleeing in a black sport utility vehicle. Their car was later spotted and they were killed as they exchanged gunfire with police.  Authorities found 12 pipe bombs, bomb making materials and thousands of rounds of ammunition in their home.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing to investigate what led Farook and Ms. Malik to carry out the California attack.

The Islamic State group claimed on its English-language radio broadcast Saturday the two were its soldiers, and in an Arabic broadcast called them supporters.  The militant group did not explicitly claim responsibility for the attack.

Ms. Malik posted a message on Facebook around the time of the attack pledging allegiance to Islamic State.

Pledges of loyalty to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been reportedly found in social media posts by others who carried out mass killings.  Some Islamic State supporters posted messages on Arabic social media hailing Wednesday's shootings and congratulating the killers.  Some promised more attacks in the United States.

The FBI said a number of pieces of evidence had turned up indicating that this was a terrorist act, including signs the massacre was extensively planned.  Investigators are also looking at two crushed cell phones the couple apparently threw away near the site of the killings.


terrorists
State of California photos 
Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook.

Extent of Islasmic State links
are focus of FBI investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Links between the Islamic State group and Tashfeen Malik, which the Pakistani native confirmed just before she and her husband opened fire with automatic rifles and slaughtered 14 people in California on Wednesday, have greatly expanded concerns about foreign terrorists’ influence on American soil.

Ms. Malik, 27, and her American-born husband, Syed Rizwan Farook,  28, are now the principal focus of an enormous effort by U.S. authorities to discover what motivated or inspired the couple to plan and carry out the attacks, which primarily targeted Farook's co-workers in California's San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles.

Before the final, bloody ending in a confrontation with police, a message apparently posted by Ms. Malik appeared on Facebook pledging her allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, and specifically to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in Syria.

Fast-moving developments since Friday were what led authorities to set aside earlier caution and brand the attacks terrorism.

The FBI's David Bowdich, in charge of that agency's Los Angeles office, appeared before reporters late Friday and announced: “We are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism.”

Bowdich and other law-enforcement officials in California have steered clear of specifically tying Ms. Malik and Farook's actions to Islamic extremism. But many investigators and experts who study extremist groups suspect Islamic State's claims about the California couple may be borne out.

The San Bernardino shootings could be seen as the world assault on the United States by Islamic extremists since the multiple attacks on New York and Washington by al-Qaida-sponsored terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Nearly 3,000 people died then in New York at the site of former World Trade Center, at the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and at a rural site in Pennsylvania where one of three hijacked commercial airliners crashed.

Since the Islamic State group became a fierce and notoriously brutal force in recent years in Iraq and Syria, it has called on its followers to repeatedly stage violent attacks against the United States as well as U.S. coalition partners in Europe and the Gulf.

Whether Islamic State inspired or directed the attack, “there’s value for ISIS to claim it either way,” the director of transnational threats at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said, using another acronym for the group.

A claim lends credibility to the call to battle, Thomas Sanderson explained.

“It strikes fear in the hearts of Americans,” he said. “I think it makes Americans feel to some degree uniformly vulnerable because this was a strike at an office and not a strike on a financial center or a strike on the Pentagon or the FBI headquarters.”

A confirmed link between the Islamic State and one or both assailants would also expand the spectrum of attack techniques, he added.

Seamus Hughes, co-author of a new report, “ISIS in America,” was not surprised by Ms. Malik's role in the California bloodbath.

Women have been active in various terrorist groups and, “in terms of ISIS, they’ve played various roles as radicalizers and recruits and propagandists,” said Hughes, deputy director of The George Washington University’s program on extremism.

The new study on terrorist infiltration found up to 300 Americans or U.S.-based people sympathetic to the Islamic State group who are active on social media. One-third of them are women.

Hughes said there is no “typical profile when it comes to ISIS recruits,” but he found a husband-and-wife attack team notable: “In terms of the couple, that is a unique dynamic.”

It is not clear whether Ms. Malik or Farook first became radicalized, or when and where. The couple deleted computer files and smashed cellphones to slow investigators’ search for clues and connections.

They reportedly met first online. Ms. Malik was living in Saudi Arabia; Farook visited there and Pakistan last year, returning with Ms. Malik, who was granted a U.S. visa as his fiancée. Neither was on a watch list, according to authorities.

The couple married in the United States and had a baby daughter about six months ago.

Sanderson speculated Farook “may have decided to marry someone so that he would look less suspicious. . . .  This is a guy who grew up in America. He may have thought that, with a wife and a child, he may not attract . . .  attention.”

Or Ms. Malik may have taken the lead.

“Every radicalization process is different. That’s what makes it so difficult to identify,” said Colin Clarke, a RAND Corp. researcher who focuses on insurgency and counterinsurgency. “There’s no one single prototype that individuals follow. So there probably were signs that could have been picked up by people who knew” them.

Malik entered the United States on a fiancée visa, which may ratchet up already-heightened interest in how newcomers are screened.

The coordinated Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris focused attention on refugee resettlement and, more recently, on visa waivers. The White House this week announced tighter screening for the latter program, used by about 20 million visitors to the United States each year.

To get a U.S. fiancée visa, or K-1 nonimmigrant visa, requires rigorous screening, says Palma Yanni, a past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Applicants face a battery of security hurdles, including repeated biometric and biographic testing, international checks for financial and criminal records, and interviews at a U.S. consulate, Ms. Yanni said. “The goal is a five-month processing time, but frequently been longer than that.”

Ms. Yanni pointed out applicants must marry within 90 days of entering the United States and must file another set of papers to confirm they married.

“Knowing how many security checks are done, what more can we do, administer truth serum?” she wondered.


Presidential candidates spar
on ways to handle terrorism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. presidential candidates sparred Sunday on the best way to combat Islamic State terrorism in the wake of last week's deadly massacre at a holiday gathering for local government workers in California.

The leading 2016 Democratic contender, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told ABC's "This Week" interview program that a "much more robust air campaign" needs to be launched against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. She said the United States needs "much better help" from Sunni and Kurdish groups on the ground fighting the insurgents, but ruled out sending in U.S. ground forces, as has President Barack Obama.

"Where I sit right now," Ms. Clinton said, "I think that would make things worse."

In addition, she called for online social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to ban militants from communicating on the sites, saying they "cannot permit the recruitment and the actual direction of attacks or the celebration of violence." One of the California attackers, Pakistani national Tashfeen Malik, used Facebook during the attack in which she and her husband killed 14 people to vow her allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Ms. Clinton stopped short of calling for a ban on the sale of encryption software that some terrorist suspects are believed to use to thwart law enforcement monitoring of their activities. She said she believes the best minds from technology companies and the government can work together to find ways to successfully monitor plans for more terrorist attacks.

The leading Republican presidential contender, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, told CBS's "Face the Nation" that he would be open to racial profiling and investigating the families suspected of terrorism.

He said he would be "very tough on families," and would "go after the wives" of attackers.

Trump, a political novice, has soared to a lead among Republican voters over other party candidates who are current and former senators and governors. He said it is wrong for people who suspect a possible attack is being planned to fail to alert law enforcement officials for fear of racially profiling someone. He said that is not playing on fears, but rather playing on common sense.

But another Republican candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, rebuffed Trump's profiling suggestion, telling CBS's "Face the Nation," "The fact is we do not need to be profiling in order to be able to get the job done here.  What you need is a president who has had the experience and the know-how to do this and not someone who is just going to talk off the top of their head.”

Republican contender Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and the son and brother of two U.S. presidents, told ABC that Islamic State fighters "are at war with us. We need to destroy them." He called for directly arming Kurdish fighters and creation of a no-fly zone in Syria, a plan similar to what Mrs. Clinton is calling for.

But he said it was wrong to dismiss the idea the United States is fighting "radical Islamic terrorism.  This is a fight for Western civilization."

Mrs. Clinton said that to use the term radical Islam makes it sound "like we are going after the religion.  It does not speak to the vast number of peaceful Muslims here and throughout the world."

Mrs. Clinton, the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013 during President  Barack Obama's first term, attacked the Republican-led defeat in the Senate last week of a measure to ban the sale of handguns to people whose names are on the country's no-fly list.

But Bush said the no-fly list has proven to be imprecise, on occasion mistakenly listing names of Americans who have no connection to terrorism.  He said those directly connected to terrorism investigations should be barred from buying guns.


Western volunteers join
Syrian Kurdish fighters


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As authorities in Western countries work to stop their citizens from joining the Islamic State group, men and women from some of those nations are going to Syria to fight against the militant group. They have joined the Syrian Kurdish YPG force.

In the recent months, dozens of fighters from North American and European countries have travelled to Syria to try to stop Islamic State, or Daesh, attacks both in the region and abroad. The woman who leads the Kurdish YPG team that trains foreign fighters says many reasons prompt the volunteers to join the battle.

"Daesh is not our enemy alone; it's the enemy of all humanity," she said. "Fighters are from Australia, United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, the Czech Republic, I believe from nearly all places are here."

One of the volunteers is Hanna Bohman, a former model and soldier, from Canada.

“Daesh is a danger for the world. But it is more of a danger psychologically than actually physically," said Ms. Bohman. "Yes, they do attack in some parts of the world but if you look at the statistics, 35,000 Americans are killed every year in gun violence. The biggest threat to Americans are other Americans. But politically and psychologically, Daesh is a much bigger threat.”

Some foreign fighters joined the YPG not only to fight the Islamic State, but to support what they say is the multi-ethnic model of co-existence in the Kurdish-held areas known as Rojava.

“I came in Rojava to be with my Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian friends who are fighting Daesh here for democracy," says young volunteer Robert, who is from France. "And I hope, after I did my duty here as much as I can, I will be able to go back to my country France with ideas and all those things that I have learned.”

YPG forces are backed by the U.S.-led coalition in their fight against the Islamic State, both from the air and, to a lesser but growing extent, on the ground. These new ground forces may find some of their countrymen, and women, already there.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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8790-2/28/15

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!


Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
           furnished.
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Email: mfiatt@mafirealestate.com 
Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com
8609-2/20/16

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
8583-1/27/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


montage
Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.
8884-3/1/16

Lantz
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com
8883-2/26/16

Safe house
The Safest Place in The World
Residencial La Jolla, Asuncion de Belén
Casa 7 of 19 luxury homes in exclusive gated community.
3 bedroom, 3.5 baths, home office with private entrance.
332 m2 construction. 2-car garage. Central A/C
Lease $2,750 USD per month. Purchase $449,000.
Contact: rafa@rafacr.com. Phone 8309-2000.
8876-1/4/16

ocean-view home
GREAT DEAL $250,000. NICE OCEAN VIEW
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
8859-112/26/15

windows

Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or scottlandtodd@live.com.   More photos HERE!
8858-1/16/16

New Arenal

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

Are you worried about the safety of the money in your 401k?  Do you think your government has painted a bullseye on all of your assets?  Do you believe it might be time to consider moving some money overseas just in case?  This property, at a distress sales price of only $140,000, should gross a 7-10% return this year and the bookings for this season aren’t all in yet.  The best part from a buyer’s standpoint is that it is utilizing only a fraction of its potential.  What’s wrong here?  Divorce, and a lack of funds needed to make the necessary value-added improvements.  Rental manager says rents could double with moderate invesement, but the current owners are unable to resolve those problems, so selling is their only way out.  This extra-large lot with its modern 2-bedroom home was intended to service a dozen or more apartments to be built on the rear, a really great plan, but that was before the wheels came off of the marriage.  It is a really good investment property in a very desirable location, earning a much better safe return than stocks and bonds, but it is also perfect for buyers who only want to follow the original plan and live in the existing home while building out the rest for a comfortable retirement.  Perfect, too, for the person who intends to move to Costa Rica in the future and wants to buy at today’s prices, but needs a property which will carry itself until that time comes.  To find out more about this opportunity contact:
lafortunaguy@gmail.com or phone 506-8377-8402.
8851-12/17/15

Fonseca two
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email: hfonseca24@gmail.com
8847-112/10/15

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:   djake888@yahoo.com
8846-4/10/16

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

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

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract indyj5vw@yahoo.com or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album
8844-5/11/16


Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8843-1/2/16

Cohen
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.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8828-12/19/15

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

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact: osaroger@gmail.com
Watch this video for full details.
8816-1/2/16

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8823-11/23/15

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!
8736-1/1/16

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Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 241
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Getting ready to welcome news seeds

The seeds are coming. The seeds are coming! Okay, I am not Paul Revere, but the seeds are on the way all the way from way up north! Every gardener loves new seeds. Seeds are a promise, they are a
Victoria torley
prospect. We greet them with anticipation and hope. They are also a lot of dang hard work!

My seeds really are coming, so we spent the morning shoveling my pile of wonder soil onto a sheet of black plastic, breaking up clumps and retrieving worms as we went along. Then we spread nice burnt earth over the dirt,
saturated it all with water and covered it with more plastic to let it sterilize in the tropical sun. This is a tried-and-true way to killing weed seeds and harmful bacteria in your soil before you plant new seeds. If you only want to work on a little soil, you can use oven or microwave sterilization methods but I found the odor from the oven a bit much and I want to work with almost a cubic yard of soil, so plastic has to be the method.

And, truth be told, I won't be letting it sit for the full recommended number of weeks. In the “Northern Territories”, they recommend six to eight weeks of full sun. Intense tropical sun speeds things up but, even so, the seeds will be here before the soil is ready, and I will be counting the days until planting.

There are ways to fix that, of course. A blanket of landscaper fabric around the newly sprouted plant starts the fix but, if you are using the fabric, be sure to put an insulating layer of shredded bark, macadamia shells or the like over the fabric. Remember, black absorbs heat and a hot pot can kill a seedling.

We are also building a seedling table so I can stand up and work with my new sprouts.  After all, I am (mumble, mumble) years old and putting sprouts on flats on the ground is getting to my knees, my back, my shoulders . . . . You get the picture. With a table at the right height, maybe the aches and pains will subside for a while.

raised beds

Speaking of great soil and fewer aches and pains, I think it's time to show you a picture of my friend Shirley's raised beds, because she has got it so right. Three rounds of concrete blocks and just the right width for picking vegetables. She can even mix her kitchen scraps in with the soil, cover a bed with plastic and let it rejuvenate. What a plan! This is a picture of “a work in progress” (note the trellis in the background). Maybe soon I will post one of the finished project (if a garden is ever really “finished”)

no name
Flower for the Week
From time to time, I like to post a plant that no one has been able to identify, so here is a good one. This appears to be a woody shrub growing as an epiphyte right in the fork of a tree where there has been some accumulation of debris to support its roots. The leaves are about 8  centimeters (3 inches) long and beautifully red-veined. The flowers are about 5 centimeters (2 inches) and have an upward curve. So far, four gardening sites have had no answer as to a name (yes “Hector” is still taken). If you have the genus or species – or even a local name – send me an email?

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arenal-Gardeners/413220712106845

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From Page 7:

Job gain spawns cautious optimism in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy had a net gain of  211,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate held steady at a 7½-year low of 5 percent.

Friday's government report says job gains were seen in construction, professional services, and health care. Mining and some media companies lost jobs. 

U.S. businesses have added 13.7 million jobs in a little less than six years, but White House economic adviser Jason Furman says, “We have more work to do.”

Nearly 8 million Americans are still out of work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and another 6.1 million can only get part-time work, though they want full-time employment.

Average wages rose 2.3 percent over the past year.

The job gains are stronger than most economists expected, and support the case for the U.S. central bank to raise the key interest rate later this month.

"Not only are we looking for a rate increase in mid-December,” said Bankrate.com’s Mark Hamrick, “but our quarterly survey at Bankrate found that 81 percent of private economists do believe that the Fed will raise rates a second time in the first half of 2016."

During the recession, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to a record low to boost economic growth and jobs. 

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen told Congress Thursday that she is seeing a lot of economic data showing the recovering economy no longer needs such help.

Ms. Yellen also said the economy needs a net gain of about 100,000 jobs to accommodate new entrants to the economy, and the new jobs have been created at a faster rate than that for some time.

Friday's upbeat report on the job market may help counter results of a recent survey of business executives that suggests reduced expectations for profit and growth, mostly because of increased domestic competition and a slowdown in manufacturing output.

"If we see a strong holiday season, that will also impact people's mood and people's outlook,” said Valerie Rainey of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. “So once we start to have a few more of these facts over the next couple of weeks, I think you're going to see people start to feel much better than perhaps they did at the point they were taking the survey."

Additionally, a new study headed by Georgetown University suggests an improving employment trend as baby boomers retire.

"Over the next ten years, if the economy continues to grow, we'll probably create about 50 million job openings in the United States,” said Anthony Carnevale, a professor at Georgetown. “More than 30 million of those job openings will come from baby boomer retirements."

However, analysts warn that external factors from a slowdown in China to increased terrorism could erase economic gains even in the world's largest economy.