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Published Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 246
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Tax fraud measure includes credit card rebates
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Consumers will pay 1 percent less sales tax if they pay with a credit or debit card under a bill that won final passage Monday.

The same bill also opens to tax inspectors the names and final beneficiaries of companies.

This is the bill that was designed to tackle tax fraud and professionals like physicians and lawyers who fail to disclose all their income.

Under the bill, merchants are required to accept credit and debit cards as a means of payment. Some now demand additional money for the processing fees.

The bill also clarifies that tourism rentals are subject to sales tax, a measure that government officials said would eliminate unfair competition with hotels.

The bill also sets up an internal affairs unit
within the Ministerio de Hacienda and its Dirección General de Tributación. The unit will fight internal corruption in tax collection, officials have said.

The bill also provides sanctions for tax advisors who help their clients reduce their taxes illegally, and the bill also strengthens collection procedures for back taxes.

Professionals who accept payments in cash have long been a problem for tax collectors.

In addition, plenty of merchants who sell big ticket items like appliances and furniture give buyers the option of not paying sales taxes. With credit or debit card payments, tax inspectors can just look at bank records.

The tax fraud bill was the least controversial proposed by the Luis Guillermo Solís administration. Bills to reinstate a value-added tax, to a tax on corporations and one to raise tax rates still are being considered.


Lawmakers get a bill for speedy criminal process
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new legislative bill seeks to provide deadlines for the country's dysfunctional judicial system.

The bill calls for reasonable periods for the various stages of a criminal prosecution and notes that some cases in Costa Rica drag on for years.

If the deadlines are not met, and a judge does not officially extend them, the accused could have the case dismissed. Judicial workers who delay the progress of a case could be fired according to the bill, which was presented Nov. 30 by lawmaker Mario Redondo Poveda the Alianza Demócrata Cristiana.

The name of the bill is Justicia pronta y cumplida, "justice fast and full."

The duration of criminal proceedings has been a complaint of expats, but there is nothing in the bill that prohibits the repeated retrying of a case when the latest verdict does not have the approval of the prosecutor or the accused.

The bill urges the use of an oral process and seeks to change the penal code so that the initial charges do not have to be in writing and can be presented to a judge orally.

The judicial system, both criminal and civil,  is moving more toward oral presentations instead of a system heavily dependent on documents.

The bill, No. 20.181, notes that the Estado de la Nación annual report for 20 years has been critical of the length of the judicial process.

A typical criminal case has three phases: preparatory, intermediate and then the trial. The Estado de la Nación has estimated that on average a 2013 case took 27 months and  two 

Justice
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weeks.  Even a so called abbreviated process where the accused admits guilt took 17 months and two weeks, according to the bill. Some categories of cases took as much as 33 months and two weeks on average, it said.

The preparatory phase should last just six months with the whole process taking just a year, says the bill, but there are provisions for extension and for exemptions for complex cases such as for organized crime prosecutions. The trial itself would be limited to just two months, the bill says.

Frequently, a suspect is confined for preventative detention during the lengthy time awaiting trial only to be acquitted.

The bill also gives the victim of any crime the specific right to be part of the process and to act on his or her own behalf, the bill said.

The bill makes no mention of civil cases, although civil claims linked to a crime would seem to be subject to the same deadlines.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 246
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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.

Dentistry


Dental                                                      Services rollover
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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts

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JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
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There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
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Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

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 Accountants

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File your current or amended returns.

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Fine art restoration and conservation

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Real estate agents and services

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Eco
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Despite moon, Geminid will be visible

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration reports that a full moon could potentially outshine the Geminid meteor shower occurring at a peak time today and Wednesday.

Typically, the Geminid meteor shower is one of the best and most reliable of the annual displays. It also happens to be ideal for those who do not want to stay up late as the peak hours in which one can see the sight is around 9 or 10 p.m., according to NASA.

Although NASA notes that a full moon will bask the shower in its lunar glow, an article published by the American Meteor Society said that the brighter Geminid meteors could still be seen and especially in areas opposite the moon.

According to HubbleSite, the webpage for NASA’s Hubble space telescope, a meteor is the flash of light seen in the night sky when a chunk of space debris burns up as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. The debris itself is called a meteoroid, which are particles so tiny that they vaporize completely before reaching the planet’s surface.


Many women cite unwanted pregnancy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Half the women who responded to a sexual health survey told interviewers that they did not want their last pregnancy.

And a third of the women said they were sexually abused or harassed.

This is the second such survey, and it was conducted in 2015. Results were released Monday by the Ministerio de Salud. A strong majority of survey participants could identify HIV/AIDS as an infection that could be sexually transmitted, but less than half could list any other sexually-transmitted-infection, the ministry said.

Some of the other results included an increasing desire on the part of the participants to start sex education at the primary school level, and by the age of 18 over half of the women and two-thirds of the men claimed to have had sex.

Interviews were conducted with around 3,200 people between the ages of 15 and 64 all across the country, officials said. The questionnaire covered 16 topics related to sexual and reproductive health including the use of contraception, sexual practices, diseases, and opinions on reproductive health rights.

The results of this survey are intended to help implement new strategies in addressing the rights and health of the public, health officials hoped. Officials commented on the importance in acquiring the information, but have not commented on the specifics as to what they will actually do in committing to action initiatives or some form of legislation.

The vice president of Costa Rica, Ana Helena Chacón said the state should educate the population about sexual and reproductive health because ignorance and stigmatization make it an issue of human rights.


Mother campaigns for legal cannabis oil

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

David Bastos Soto is a child diagnosed with Dravet syndrome which, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders, is a severe form of epilepsy.

It appears in the first year a baby is born and is noted for particularly violent fits of epileptic seizures and involuntary muscle spasming. The seizures, the health institute reports, is difficult to control but could be reduced with varying anticonvulsant drugs. Most diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, are dependent on caregivers into their teens.

Saray Soto Rivera, the mother of David, said her son had shown significant improvement in his condition since incorporating cannabis oil into his treatment. After trying 18 other anticonvulsant drugs, she said, it was cannabis that made the most significant change in her son’s life. The only problem with this treatment is it is illegal in Costa Rica.

She claimed that David had to swallow 124 pills each month before using medical cannabis. David was experiencing a serious deterioration in the organs of his body and sleeping for abnormally long hours, she said.

“Now David, only takes 30 pills a month. He no longer has the same number of seizures and participates in school activities,” Ms. Soto said, “Little by little, we have managed to reduce the dose of other, very expensive medicines thanks to the cannabis oil.”

Ms. Soto is urging the national legislature to legalize medicinal cannabis so that her son can legally and easily access what she views is a life-improving treatment. Her story was circulated by the Partido Acción Ciudadana.

A bill was introduced in August 2014 in the Costa Rican legislature calling for the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.

Cannabis is the plant from which the illegal drug marijuana is produced. This proposal states that the recreational use of the drug would not be legalized, however there would be an aim to regulate the research and control its use for medicinal, industrial, and food usages of cannabis and hemp plants throughout all the stages of production and consumption.

According to the information within the legislation itself, the bill would establish the necessity of conducting scientific research on the health usages of cannabis as well as construct new pharmaceutical locations for its preparation as a medicine. It also would establish a new institute related to its regulation and research within the government in coordination with other involved parties.

Currently, according to the legislature, the bill has remained in committee since late September 2014, but lawmakers made a revision to the text in April 2015. These adjustments mainly entail the bureaucratic structuring of the institution that would be regulating cannabis or that certain forms of cannabis would be legalized nor freely sold by any grower. It also lists the type of medical professionals who could administer the drug.


Special wheelchair designed for kids

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ergonomía Aplicada laboratory of Tecnológico de Costa Rica, or ErgoTEC, is making progress with their new design of a robotic wheelchair
for children with cerebral palsy.

The new vehicle  provides therapy by giving children a previously unobtainable sensation: movement.

What started as a prototype based at the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas de España ended up in Costa Rica where, originally, researchers wanted only a design for the chair of the vehicle. The Spanish designers could not send the vehicle over for testing so the Costa Rican team decided to build its own, representatives said.

wheelchair
Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo
This is the prototype

“We modified the design of the vehicle so that the children could sit well and then made other changes to allow them to control it better,” Luis Diego Araya, the coordinator for the research project, said.

At the same time, students from the Ingeniería en Diseño Industrial focused on improving the control panel to make it more user-friendly to the patients. Researchers hope to begin having these vehicles produced at the national level now that they believe they have the human and technological resources to do so. The project began in Costa Rica in 2015.


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The sounds of the jungle are being captured here by researchers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even frogs cannot escape stealthy surveillance.

Purdue University reported that a professor there had been visiting the La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica since 2008. His goal is to record and archive sounds from threatened species. Among the species being recorded are amphibians believed to be in danger of extinction.

The professor is Bryan Pijanowski, director of the Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscapes.

Pijanowski's work has been featured in the U.S. media. The university said he has collected more than 1.2 million recordings, totaling about 250,000 hours of sound in trips all over the world.

The professor reported that a comparison of his recordings over time indicates a significant decline in amphibian species in Costa Rica, which is noted for its biodiversity, the university said.

“I’m worried that these would potentially become acoustic fossils,” he was quoted as saying. “In other words, the animals that are in these files are no longer alive. And the only record that we have of some of their presence is an audio recording.”

The reason for the decline in amphibians is complex, other researchers have reported.  Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by a fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been credited with bringing a number of species to near extinction.

But as the University of Oregon has reported ultraviolet radiation also might be lethal. There also has been a virus linked to frog deaths. And habitat destruction also has been cited.

Recent estimates suggest that nearly one-third of all amphibians, some 2,000 species, are threatened with extinction. In the last two decades alone, nearly 168 species are thought to have gone extinct, according to news files.

listening
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources photo/Matthew Harris
Bryan Pijanowski is seeking sounds.


Costa Rica has the highest density of amphibians among all the countries in the world, 4.05 species per 1,000 square kilometers compared to 2.9 for Panama and 1.9 for Ecuador, according to the research site AmphibiaWeb. The site said it received the statistics from a new field guide by Twan Leenders, published by the Cornell University Press. Leenders reported Costa Rica has 204 native amphibian species. The Web site notes that one more salamander was described since the book appeared. That numbers an increase of 27 species since a 2002 book, AmphibiaWeb said. 

Now there are here 147 plus three introduced frogs, 53 salamanders and seven caecilians, the website said, adding that only Guatemala with 85, Mexico with 143 and the United States with 190 have more salamanders, but many countries, including  Brazil with 992 have more frogs.

The crisis facing amphibians does not seem to have captured the hearts and wallets of the public. Researchers at the University of Puerto Rico had plans to set up a worldwide system of sound monitors to captured songs of birds, mammals, frogs and insects.

A Kickstarter campaign to start the project in Costa Rica, Perú, and Madagascar only raised $2,954 by Oct. 6 of an $80,000 goal.



Lawmaker says kids should get in free to cultural and sports events
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lawmaker wants to give youngsters up to 12 years free entry into the nation's cultural, sports and recreational activities. The bill, No. 20.196, if passed, would cover both public and private events.

The event would have to have been declared suitable for minors by the Consejo Nacional de Espectáculos Públicos, and the youngster or youngsters would have to be accompanied by an adult, according to the text.

The lawmaker, Francisco Camacho, said one goal of the

legislation is to open up such events to children from poor families. He estimated their number at 353,000, based on data provided by the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos.

The Frente Amplio lawmaker said that in the case of private events, the youngsters who get in free would be relegated to the cheapest seats if there is a difference in price.

The goal is to guarantee the adequate physical and psychological development of youngsters, he said in a summary.

Many commercial cultural events already admit youngsters at a cut rate.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 246
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Postal service is looking for a few good stamp designers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Correos de Costa Rica has set a deadline of Thursday for youngsters up to age 18 to submit entries in a stamp design contest.

There are three categories by age, from 9 to 12, from 13 to 15 and up to 18. There are prizes in each category, and the overall winner will be the design for the 2017 Ciudad de los Niños stamp that will be issued Dec. 1, the postal service said.

In addition, the overall winner will be entered in an international postal union contest. The contest is being coordinated by the postal service's Museo Filatélico, which is located in the central offices in San José. Contest rules are on the Correos Facebook page.

stamp contest
Correos de Costa Rica graphic

Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:  www.HiddenGardenArt.com
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Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Georgre Lundquist header

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

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

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
HERE!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

George Lundquist

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   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 36-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
   *    ATTRACTIVE DISCOUNTS ON TOURS
 
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at www.liveincostarica.com
9042-5/4/16

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



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COSTA RICA SOLAR
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
CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398
OUR EMAIL:
 andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:
www.crsolar.net 
9118-6/26/17

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 www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
9055-2/23/17

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
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9049-7/31/17

Real estate for rent (paid category)


new
                                                          apartment
                                                          photo
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.
9094-11/26/16





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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 246
Calendar
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Axiom new ad

swipe
Michigan State University photo 
An electrifying swipe

Swiping on a smart phone
may make charging obsolete

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One day soon, your smart phone could be charged by finger swipes, according to new research.

Writing in the journal Nano Energy, researchers from Michigan State University say they have developed a film-like device to harvest energy from human motion.

The researchers say the nanogenerator was able to operate an LCD touch screen, 20 LED lights and a flexible keyboard with the device and without a battery.

The film is made using a silicone wafer upon which thin layers of silver, polyimide and polypropylene ferroelectret are added. Ions are added and create energy when the device is compressed by human motion.

"What I foresee, relatively soon, is the capability of not having to charge your cell phone for an entire week, for example, because that energy will be produced by your movement,"said Nelson Sepulveda, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and lead investigator of the project.

Furthermore, researchers say the device is lightweight, flexible, biocompatible, scalable, low-cost and robust.

Moreover, they add that the device becomes more powerful when it is folded.

"Each time you fold it you are increasing exponentially the amount of voltage you are creating," Sepulveda said. "You can start with a large device, but when you fold it once, and again, and again, it is now much smaller and has more energy. Now it may be small enough to put in a specially made heel of your shoe so it creates power each time your heel strikes the ground."


Congress seeks Russian clues
with twin bipartisan probes


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Intelligence committees in both houses of Congress launched investigations Monday into accusations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election to boost the chances that president-elect Donald Trump would win.

The separate probes about allegations of Russian cyberattacks to influence the outcome of last month's election amounted to an early rebuke of Trump, who over the weekend said the Central Intelligence Agency conclusion was ridiculous that Russia engaged in cyberattacks to help him win. He continued to assail the finding Monday.

Even before he assumes power next month, the Republican Trump's mocking of the CIA conclusion about Russian interference on his behalf put him at odds with both of the top Republican lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. They endorsed bipartisan probes conducted by the intelligence committees in each chamber of Congress.

"The Russians are not our friends," McConnell said. He added that the investigation should be undertaken with the idea that the Russians do not wish us well. Ryan said the House probe should not cast doubt on Trump's victory, but that foreign interference in a U.S. election was entirely unacceptable and Russian involvement especially problematic.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the congressional review is certainly warranted when you consider the stakes and the consequences.

But Trump spokesman Jason Miller called the CIA conclusion about Russian interference an attempt to delegitimize president-elect Trump's win.

Trump's election opponent, Democrat Hilary Clinton, has been silent about the Russian hacking allegations. But her campaign manager, John Podesta, Monday demanded that the administration of President Barack Obama declassify and release all the information it has about Russia meddling in the election.

Mrs. Clinton won the national popular vote against Trump but lost where it mattered, in the Electoral College that decides U.S. presidential elections. Podesta called for release of the intelligence data before electors in the Electoral College vote to formally ratify Trump's victory Dec. 19.

In a pair of comments on Twitter, Trump questioned why information about the computer hacking was not widely known before the election.

He contended that if Mrs. Clinton had won the election and Republicans tried to play the Russia/CIA card, it would be called conspiracy theory.

He added, "Unless you catch hackers in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?"


Reid claims FBI's Comey
was siding with Trump


By the A.M. Costa wire services

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is directly blaming FBI Director James Comey for the Democrats' loss in last month's election, saying Comey ignored pleas to investigate possible Russian cyber-interference.

"I am saying the FBI did nothing," Reid told CNN television Monday. "All the information that we've heard in the last couple weeks, it was available to the FBI. He just ignored it. He did not make it public. We asked him more than once and he didn't do it."

Reid said he believes the Democrats would have won the Senate and Donald Trump would have lost the presidency if Comey had acted. Reid accused the FBI chief of breaking the decades-old precedent of not getting involved in politics.

He also said Comey's revelation that more Hillary Clinton emails had surfaced two weeks before the election hurt her chances of winning the White House. Comey has not yet responded to Reid's accusations.


Silicon Valley school offers
new approach in education


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Employing a startup style, Khan Lab School brings back one-room concept to teach young students

Silicon Valley, known for its innovative tech companies and startups, also is the birthplace of an experimental school that is disrupting the traditional concept of education.

Mishal Junaid, 12, loves the unconventional methods of this Khan Lab School.

“When I wake up in the morning I want to wake up, unlike my last school where I want to sleep in and not go to school,” she said.

Ms. Junaid and her sister’s response to the school surprises their parents.

“Our children, they love going to school, to the point that even if they are tired or sick or have the flu or whatever, they will not skip school. To the point that we worry why kids come home so happy and are they really learning things?” said Junaid Qurashi, Mishal’s father.

Students ages 5 to 15 attend the experimental Khan Lab School. It has no grade levels and no homework. Students of different ages all work together.

“You get to choose what you learn, and it’s not just a teacher hands you a worksheet and tells you to do it. You get to set your own goals. You have a schedule. You go to different classes,” said 9-year-old student Holly Thompson.

The school is the idea of Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy which is famous for its free online educational videos that have millions of users worldwide. Khan said he started Khan Lab School because he thinks the current education system is flawed and he hopes to create a better learning model.

“Where I see the future going is somewhat revisiting the past. There’s a lot of really good things about the one-room schoolhouse that you might have had in the rural areas that you still have today in a lot of places where you have mixed age classrooms. The advantage there is that older students can take responsibility and mentor younger ones. Younger students get more people. They get the teacher, but also other students being invested in their work,” said Khan.

Khan said students also learn material at their own pace through videos and more attention from teachers through one-on-one dialogue instead of lectures. And they learn by doing projects.

Malika Junaid noticed a change in her daughters after attending the school. “The biggest difference we saw literally six months into the school was the confidence level in the kids has skyrocketed.

She continued, “I’ve seen the biggest difference in Mishal. Talking to elders, talking to others, presenting themselves, doing the eye contact and always wanting to help.”

Dominic Liechti, Khan Lab School executive director, said this way of learning better prepares students for the future.

“We can be innovative and think ahead of kind of what we are heading toward the fourth industrial revolution where a lot of labor force is going to be replaced by robots and we are, at the moment where I see education is actually they are stuck in their classroom. They are stuck in their artifacts. What we’re trying here is really to challenge that,” he observed.

“The role of a teacher needs to change from being kind of a lecturer toward more being like a curator, a tutor but also lifelong learner and an assessor instead of just somebody who just lectures. And on the student side the student is shifting, as well, from a consumer to be more creative.”

Khan is experimenting to see what elements of this private school can apply to public schools, with students from more disadvantaged families.


U.S. seeks to stop conflicts
with competitors in space


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A top U.S. military official says the U.S. is actively pursuing abilities to deter Russia and China from waging a conflict in space.

Speaking at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Arlington on Friday, General Jay Raymond, Commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command, said some of China's military modernization is aimed at weakening the U.S. advantage in space and other domains.

"China's military modernization has the potential to reduce core U.S. military technological advantage," he said, citing an annual report to Congress by Defense Secretary Ash Carter. "Moreover, China is investing in capabilities designed to defeat adversary power projection and counter intervention during a crisis or conflict."

U.S. efforts to strengthen space deterrence include working with allies, Raymond added.

"Our coalition partnerships have evolved from just information sharing to joint war fighting," he said. "They provide an incredible deterrence value. We must leverage the growing space capabilities of our allies."

Air Force representatives from Japan and Brazil said that their countries are actively seeking to work with the U.S. in space cooperation in the face of growing threats in that domain.


World Health touts progress,
but with some caution noted


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In its latest annual report, the World Health Organization says strong progress has been made in the fight against malaria, particularly in offering effective control programs to children and pregnant women in Africa.

The organization, however, warns funding has plateaued, putting targets for tackling the disease at risk.

World Health’s 2016 report highlights significant achievements in the global fight against malaria. Mortality rates for the annual number of deaths from malaria have been halved in the past 16 years to just over 400,000.

Programs to distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets are the cornerstone of malaria prevention efforts in Africa, says Jo Lines of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“The progress is that now 53 percent, just over half that target population and it's a very large target population in some very difficult to reach places. Fifty-three percent of those people now report sleeping under an insecticide-treated net,” Lines said.

As more insecticide is used to prevent malaria, however, the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are becoming resistant.

"Insecticide resistance is spreading very rapidly. Now that we're achieving those high levels of coverage, it's spreading more rapidly than ever and becoming really strong in some places,” said Lines.

Diagnostic testing for malaria has also increased sharply in the last five years allowing for the rapid prescription of life-saving treatment, particularly for children.

"What's clear now is that we need to do a much more differentiated set of interventions,” said Lines. “We need to tailor what we do to each place.”

By far, the highest share of the global malaria burden is borne by sub-Saharan Africa where 92 percent of malaria deaths occurred in 2015.


Guterres takes up U.N job
and urges solving conflicts


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Portugal's António Guterres was sworn in Monday as the ninth U.N. secretary-general.

"The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective," Guterres told member states. "It must focus more on delivery and less on process; more on people and less on bureaucracy," he said.

The 67-year-old former prime minister and U.N. refugee chief beat out more than a dozen other candidates during a 10-month long public process to lead the organization.

With the world facing its largest refugee and migrant crisis since World War II, numerous armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, the threat of terrorism, and the effects of climate change, Guterres will have a full plate when he takes up his duties on Jan. 1 from outgoing U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon.

"The United Nations was born from war. Today we must be here for peace," he said.

Guterres said he would make conflict prevention his top priority. "Where prevention fails, we must do more to resolve conflicts," he said, adding he would use his good offices to personally engage in conflict resolution where it brings added value. He also called for mediation, arbitration and creative diplomacy for addressing crises.

During a post-ceremony news conference, Guterres was asked what he would do about the situation in Syria. He said he hopes to be an honest broker, creating the conditions for confidence to be established to find a solution.

U.N. member states also held a tribute to Ban Ki-moon, who has led the organization for the past decade.

They praised his stewardship of the organization through a global financial crisis, conflicts, natural disasters and outbreaks of disease, and they gave him a standing ovation.

Over his tenure, Ban has often referred to his own upbringing and the role the United Nations played in his youth, in struggling post-war Korea.

Ban's term will expire at the end of this month. He will return to his native South Korea in mid-January, where there is widespread speculation he may run for president.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Container
                                  graphic
Shipping Container Homes For Sale!
We sell new shipping containers and modified container homes. Call us at 8307-8666 
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Stop by our workshop and walk through our model homes in San Ramón.
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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 SellATimeshare.com. 
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COSTA RICA SOLAR
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
CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398
OUR EMAIL:
 andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:
www.crsolar.net 
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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.
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                                  Tamarindo

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Rich Coast
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Real estate for sale (paid category)


Samara
                                  acreage
Sámara titled land for sale by owner
5.7 acres. Only 150 meters to beach: $275,000
Less than $12 a meter

Fully titled, held by corporation. 150 meters to beach! Paved road frontage. Electric, phone and broadband internet at the road. Year-round water on property for well. 3 -minute drive to Sámara center and a 3-minute walk to Playa Sámara. 23,561 square meters / 5.7 acres. Property was purchased on 2005 with plans to develop 21 villas on the property. Project was halted due to real estate market collapse in 2007.  We are no longer interested in developing due to age, health and motivation!  Priced well below market value for quick sale.  More info click HERE! Email: darrandall@yahoo.com    Phone: 506-4033-6695.
xxxxxx-1/5/17

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:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R03ImsxN0wc    or click here www.whynotcostarica.com. 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 tim@whynotcostarica.com
9098-12/1/16

San Rmon
                                  rollover
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!
9110-3/6/16

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
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 506- 8307-0164
Bruce Cohen

Penthouse
                                  rollover
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 www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
9017-12/1/16

horse ranch
                                  rollover
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 www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
A.M.
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M.
Costa
Rica
sixth
news page


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 246
Calendar
Opinion
Classifieds
Real Estate
Lifestyle
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About us

News from the BBC up to the minute











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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
new vehicle
U.S. Embassy photo
Johnny Araya, San José mayor, seems euphoric as he dangles the keys to this new vehicle he just received from S. Fitzgerald Haney, the U.S. ambassador.

Capital gets a very advanced vehicle

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

San Jose's municipal police just got from the United States a $198,000 vehicle of the kind the evil government villain uses in some spy movie.

The panel truck contains a generator, computer screens, radios, internet hookups, an exterior camera, recording devices, office space and a storage area. The truck also has interior cameras, according to the municipality. And if there is not enough room, there is a tent that can be erected outside.

The municipality said that the vehicle will be used to visit communities for preventative programs and to strengthen security.

Except for the paint job that says Municipalidad de San José, the new truck is clearly designed for surveillance. The announcement said that the electronics were state of the art.



Two performances to tell nativity story

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banda de Conciertos de San José, the groups Gaviota and Trío Matices and actors will present two performances of a 90-minute musical recounting of the birth of Jesus.

The first performance will be at at 7 o'clock tonight in the Escuela Porfirio Brenes in Moravia and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Catedral Metropolitana in San José.

The actors will play characters from the biblical account in the 1990 work composed by Costa Rican Carlos Guzmán.

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Analytics firm here adopts Moody's name

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Copal Amba finance company has officially come under the umbrella of financial analytic giant Moody’s Corp. with the changing of the Costa Rican-based group’s name to Moody’s Analytics Knowledge Services.

Miriam Manrique, the director of Moody’s, said that this is a part of a wider move on the part of the corporation to expand markets into South and Central America. Ms. Manrique said that the firm will also generate 50 additional jobs in 2017.

“We have brought Wall Street to Costa Rica and we have been successful in the process,” she said, “Given the trust of a company like Moody’s in the country and its talent, the objective is to continue hiring highly qualified personnel and grow the operation.”

Moody’s will offer investment analysis training through 2017 in Costa Rica.

The foreign trade ministry praised the move by Moody’s Analytics and continues to voice its support toward creating a better environment for the operation. The agency also noted of the necessity in developing the services sector of the Costa Rican economy for its continued diversification.

Moody’s is an organization providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to the transparency and integration of financial market, the company’ statement said. Moody’s Analytics offers advice and research services in credit or economic analysis as well as financial risk management. According to the corporation, Moody’s earned around $3.5 billion in 2015 with a presence in 36 countries.