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Published Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 253
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The staff of A.M. Costa Rica wish you, our readers, a merry Christmas and happy holidays without reservation. Whether you are getting a tan in Costa Rica or skiing in the Great White North, we hope that you find this weekend as a time to be surrounded
by family, friends and good cheer.

Motorists and bus passengers face chaos at bridge site
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The closing of the Río Virilla bridge on the General Cañas autopista provoked chaos Wednesday. Motorists were stranded in traffic jams for hours, and bus passengers were forced to walk six kilometers or more toward San José.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad ordered that the bridge be closed at 6 a.m. for 24 hours. Previous closings had been for a few hours at a time. The closing gave work crews widening the span time to receive deliveries of steel and other materials.

Although the closing had been announced, the traffic flow stalled by morning rush hour. Only the eastbound lanes were affected, and the road agency again declined to use one of the westbound lanes for eastbound traffic.

ehicles were shunted off into Heredia or the Caldera highway.

Bus drivers dumped their passengers at the west side of the bridge. The healthy passengers

did not seem to have trouble walking up a long hill from the river. But there were others, including a woman who went into labor, that experienced problems.

The pregnant woman went to the Hospital de Mujeres by ambulance, a process that resulted in blocking the westbound lanes, too, for a time.

Then there were individuals who were headed to hospitals for post-operative examinations and others who had been scheduled for procedures. Hospital México is a long walking distance from the bridge.

At least one of the bus passengers was on crutches.

The path past the bridge construction site was mud in some places, and there were other obstacles.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said later in the day that officials would try to give more notice for closings. More closings are scheduled for next week.

Here is a link to what is open and closed for holidays
A.M. Costa Rica will not be published tomorrow, Friday, and the Barrio Otoya office will be closed, too, to give staffers a head
start on Christmas. For an outline of what else is open and closed during the holidays, please see

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 253
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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.


Dental                                                      Services rollover
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Credit card report cites problems, debt

By Conor Golden
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Serious breaches were detected with certain credit card issuers affecting the rights of consumers and causing an almost insurmountable amount of debt, according to a recent examination by the commerce ministry.

According to the latest credit card study that ended Oct. 31 by the ministry’s economic and market research group, the debt balance came out to be around $1.9 billion or around 3.34 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. That represents an overall increase of around 20 percent since last year, the study said.

Within the execution of these contracts between the credit issuer and the consumer, there are problems such as lack of clarity on contractual information, financial burden in the form of overbearing commissions or other administrative charges, a lack of understanding in reading the fine print within the contract and penalties for late fees not being listed, said the ministry.

There is no clear and formalized procedure within these contracts on making a payment in advance, said the report. Instances of advertising programs with no specificity as to their rates except to say that it is low or completely non-existent is also rampant, according to the report.

The issuers included in the study by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria, y Comercio are: Bancrédito, BCT, Banco de Costa Rica, CrediSimán, Credix, Credomatic, Davivienda, Lafise, Banco Nacional, NovaScotia, Scotiabank, and Promérica. The type of programs in question are those special offers for lines of credit granted to the cardholder where no interest or minor interest is charged over varying periods. These groups apply different terms and interest rates.

In comparison to the previous year, the number of credit cards has increased by 11 percent, according to officials, to reach a total of around 2.3 million.

Vacation meals planned at some schools

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More then 700 schools will open their cafeterias and dining rooms in the areas most affected by poverty and Hurricane Otto as well as those places with high concentrations of native people, officials said.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública has ordered the dining rooms of certain schools, recently closed with the end of the academic year, be opened until Feb. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Schools that provide classes and operate exclusively during the afternoon and evenings will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Each selected school’s director and members of the board of education are going to analyze and consider the conditions needed for the opening, according to officials. Official data claims this may help around 55,000 at-risk youth, but regardless, kids between the ages of 5 and 17 who are in poverty will be served.

The ministry is projecting a budget of around $2 million for the purchase of the food and paying the cooks who will serve it. Their goal is to make sure children in poverty do not go hungry during this season.

For schools in the area affected by Hurricane Otto, the ministry plans to open all available schools with the proper infrastructure to provide this service. Officials said that would be around 196 schools benefiting up to 15,000 students. They say it may require additional funds of a 1 billion colons.

Trio held in construction site robberies

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents captured two men who are believed to be linked to at least 14 instances of construction site robberies.

The two men are accused of aggravated robberies occurring between August and November. Officials said that bandits posed as judicial and immigration agents. Once inside a building, the bandits gagged and threatened their victims, many of whom were Nicaraguan construction workers.

A third man involved was linked to the crimes, but he already was in custody, said the Poder Judicial. He was facing an allegation that he robbed a construction site in Los Ángeles de Santo Domingo Tuesday night. This man was previously sentenced to 24 years in prison for aggravated robbery, but he was released early in 2014. He is currently being transferred to Alajuela where all three men will be questioned.

During the raids, judicial agents confiscated handcuffs, cell phones, tools, a vehicle, and the garments that were thought to be immigration uniforms.

Two held in murder of their brother

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Judicial agents arrested two men accused of killing their brother in what is believed to be a conflict over property.

According to the Judicial Investigating Organization, the dead man, identified as Jorge Jiménez, 56, was at a property where several of his businesses are based in Cinco Esquinas de Tibas. Sometime in the afternoon in January 2015, an individual rode up on a motorcycle and shot him multiple times and killed him. The killer escaped on the motorcycle, according to officials.

Investigators eventually pulled together a case against the two men, who are also in their 50s, and both were arrested Wednesday. The presumption of investigators was that this murder stemmed from a conflict within the family over properties and the businesses.

Our reader's opinion
Tax changes could keep jobs in U.S.

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Janet Yellen says that it is very difficult to achieve what Donald Trump wants in the way of American jobs.  I don't think so.  The U.S. has merely to do what other countries around the world are already doing: Have the national tax code charge a higher rate to those companies that have more than say, 50 per cent or so of their profits coming from overseas operations. 

Let's see, how many U.S. firms fit that profile?  Many.  Include those that have the same amount of employees outside the country. Don't forget to count the part-timers, so-called independent contractors and others that are off the books and don't receive benefits.  The devil is always in the details now isn't it?  Include distributors, middle men, shippers. You get the idea. 

I remember when Playtex Corp. moved to Mexico.  The president said the move would save over 90 per cent of labor costs, and when the young reporter asked how much of these savings would be passed back to American consumers in the form of lower prices, the company guy said "This interview is over." Needless to say about 4,000 or so seamstresses went on welfare, unemployment, subsidized housing, etc., etc.  The American economy took yet another hit while corporate America cleaned up.

Just because a so-called corporate headquarters is a post office box in New York City, Fairfax, Virginia, or Silicon Valley doesn't necessarily mean the workers are nearby.

Get to work, Donny.
Jim Harrison
El Paso

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 253
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Festive color

The Teatro Popular Melico Salazar opposite Parque Central is just one of the many locations in the capital that are lighted up for the holidays. This is one of the two major theaters in the city, and both belong to the government.

Teatro Melico
A.M. Costa Rica/Conor Golden

Some supermarkets plan to remain open on Christmas Day
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some supermarkets will still be open while some public buildings are shutting down as the celebrations and events and bull-baiting continue for the holiday season in Costa Rica.

The Fiestas de Zapote will begin on Christmas Day and continue through the week until Jan. 3. The fiestas will include food, booze, rides, and what is certain to be an arena filled with bull-baiters testing their dodging capabilities against an irritated bull. The events within the arena will also be broadcast live on certain television channels nationwide and abroad. The fiestas will be located at the Zapote fairgrounds.


The traditional Pasada del Niño, a formal procession dating back almost a century, will begin at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve in Liberia.

The procession has roots dating back to the start of the 1920s and involves a formal procession involving an image of the baby Jesus. During the procession, a repertoire of parranderas, jotas, dances, and other music from the Guanacaste Banda de Conciertos will be heard. The Guanacaste band, officially founded in 1870, has always participated in the procession.

According to the Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural, the oral tradition says that an individual fleeing Nicaragua gave the image to a Lola Carillo after telling her that it belonged to Liberia. In 1919 when the dictatorship of
Federico Tinoco collapsed, Doña Carillo, who had married a relative of the deposed dictator, ran to another woman’s house to give her the image.

From that, the research group said, is the idea for the formal procession that recalls the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.


The Banco Nacional offices in the San José canton will close
on Friday while the rest of the other branches will remain open that day with regular hours. However, the next day, Saturday, all
the bank’s offices will be closed. As always, their ATM’s will remain open throughout the entire holiday period at regularly scheduled hours.


Many supermarkets will continue normal hours. Walmart announced it will keep its regular hours with no changes due to the holiday season. The Dos Pinos Super Cuesta de Moras market along Avenida Central in front of Calle 13 said it will also be operating at normal hours with no closings.

The Mas x Menos supermarket next to it announced that its store will operate on limited hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas and Jan. 1. For Saturday, the market announced it will only be open until 10 p.m. On New Year’s Eve, it will only be open until 9 p.m. Lastly, the Súper Fácil market at Avenida Segunda and near Calle 9 will continue its normal hours, but will close on Christmas and New Year’s Day.


In the world of museums, the Museo de Arte Costarricense will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Saturday. Likewise, the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo and the Museo Nacional will be closing on Friday. The Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría will close on Christmas Eve. All of these museums will reopen at their normal hours on Tuesday Jan.3, officials said. The Finca 6 site in Palmar Sur will be closed from Friday until Jan. 3.

The Teatro Nacional, however, will only be closed on Sunday and Monday and Jan. 1, but aside from those days will be open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From Saturday to Jan. 8, Channel 13 will be holding its CINETICO festival screening around 24 national films from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. when it returns to its normal hours.

The U.S. Embassy and consulate offices will be closed on Monday and also on Monday Jan. 2. Other than those two dates, the embassy will continue to operate at its normal functioning hours, an announcement said.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 253
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Abused women reported to be more at risk during the holidays
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Women who live in violent situations are more at risk during Christmas and New Year's because their abuser is home more frequently, said a government official. The other reasons are greater use of alcohol and the economic pressure of the season, said Alejandra Mora Mora, president of the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres.

She also noted in a statement that statistics do not back up her claim. She attributed fewer domestic violence complaints around the holidays to abused women not wanting to ruin the festivities and fear of those who provide the violence.

Ms. Mora carefully tailored her statement so she did not imply that all women are in danger during the holidays. She was describing conditions of women who already have been subject to violence from a partner.

She urged these women to call 911 and file complaints. As social workers know, many will not because they fear the uncertainty of what might happen if they and their children are left without a man in the house.

But Ms. Mora also noted that 22 women have been murdered by their partners or former partners this year and that other cases are under investigation.

The latest case took place at a bar in Las Juntas de Abangares about 1 a.m. Dec. 19. A 44-year-old construction worker pumped two bullets into the chest of his 33-year-old former companion. She died at the scene. Seconds later he shot himself in the roof of his mouth and died the next day in a San José hospital.

The couple had been living together for 10 years before

separating and left two children, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Claims of violence being linked to the calendar are generally unsupported, although one study of 1.3 million domestic violence police reports said there was a spike at holidays. Such statistics can be confused with when a woman leaves her home because of domestic violence. Another study found that this happened more frequently around school vacations because children are not in classes and can leave with the mother.

The classic case of misrepresenting domestic violence is the 1993 claim that such abuse skyrockets on Super Bowl Sunday in the United States. The rationale is that men become violent when their professional sports team wins or loses.

That claim, initially aired at a Pasadena conference, has been found to be without evidence. But such claims continue. There was a British media report in 2014 that said domestic violence spikes every time the national soccer team loses a World Cup match.

Women in Costa Rica who are abused have options other than the police. The Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres operates a violence call center where women can receive advice. They will find that police will remove a man from the home if the woman complains of violence even if there is no other evidence.

Of course this remedy often is abused because the woman ends up with the home, and the man still is obligated to pay upkeep costs. And the wait for a judicial hearing might be long.

In fact, one expert has blamed the judicial delay for encouraging violence because the man's anger will grow over time. And many women find that judicial no-contact orders routinely are disregarded.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Put Costa Rica on your walls
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Visit our Web site at:
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Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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

George Lundquist

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Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877

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

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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 
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Fully Furnished American Style Apartment for Rent

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 253
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Trump says recent attacks show need to screen Muslims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that the violent attacks in Europe this week prove that he is right about his plans to institute tough screening of Muslims attempting to enter the United States after he assumes power next month.

"You know my plans. All along, I've been proven to be right. 100 percent correct. What's happening is disgraceful," Trump said in a brief exchange with reporters in Florida, where he is continuing to interview candidates to fill key positions in his administration.

Asked about the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people and the assassination of a Russian diplomat in Ankara, Trump said, "Terrible. Terrible. What's going on is terrible, terrible."

He described the violence as an attack on humanity that needs to be stopped.

In his lengthy run for the White House, Trump at first called for an outright ban on Muslims entering the United States, but since then has promised to start extreme vetting of people trying to enter the U.S. from countries where there have been terrorist attacks.

European authorities are engaged in a massive manhunt for a Tunisian, Anis Amri, with connections to the Islamic State network in Germany for questioning in the Berlin attack.

The off-duty Turkish policeman who gunned down Moscow's ambassador to Turkey at an art gallery was himself shot by police.

'Saturday Night Live' via YouTube 
Actor Alec Baldwin portrays Donald Trump.

Political satire engaging
but with a humorous twist

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The comic playwright Aristophanes was ridiculing Athenian leaders more than 2,000 years ago in Greece. The Mother Goose rhymes of the 1600s were veiled commentary on the social and political events of Tudor England. Benjamin Franklin, one of America's founding fathers, was known for his humorous writings that satirized political issues of the period.

While people can be imprisoned, or even put to death for political satire in some countries, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enacted in 1791, protects it as free speech.

“Political satire has been used throughout American history as a more gentle way of commentary,” says Alison Dagnes, a political science professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She is the author of a book called "A Conservative Walks into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor."

Political satire became popular in the American colonies in the early 1700s, as the colonists fought for independence from Britain. Since many people were illiterate, cartoons provided important commentary against British rule.

From the mid to late 1800s, editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast criticized the political corruption of Boss Tweed and his Tammany Hall political machine that controlled New York’s government.

During this era, humorist Mark Twain was acknowledged for his wit and satirical humor on issues like slavery.

In the early 20th century, entertainer Will Rogers poked fun at politicians and mounted his own mock political campaign.

Cartoons remained popular in newspaper and magazines in the 20th century, with Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Herb Block leading the way with biting political satire. For more than 70 years, until his death in 2001, Block’s cartoons provided commentary on government policies and scandals including President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

Political satire became more visible on television starting in the 1960s. Stand-up comedians poked fun at the American political system. Colorful comedian George Carlin was known for taking punches at politicians with lines like “In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem.”

In recent years, political satire has been especially prominent on late-night television. Jimmy Fallon, host of "The Tonight Show," often impersonates president-elect Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump was the target of more jokes than anybody in any other presidential campaign,” says Robert Lichter, a communications professor at George Mason University in Virginia. Lichter collaborated on a book about late-night TV shows called "Politics Is a Joke: How TV Comedians Are Remaking Political Life."

"Saturday Night Live," which debuted in 1975, changed the way a president could be portrayed on TV, he says, pointing to comedian Chevy Chase, who did a bumbling impersonation of then-president Gerald Ford by dropping papers and even falling over a Christmas tree.

Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show" for 17 years, from 1992-2009, broadened the appeal of political satire on late-night shows. Other show hosts followed his lead.

In the 1990s, political satire made late-night shows a place where Americans could expect to be entertained and hear the juicy stuff about politicians. “Comedians start to go after scandals, private lives, sex, drinking, subjects that were taboo earlier in television,” Lichter says.

Politicians also came to realize that appearing on these shows was good publicity and helped them get their views heard. “They soon discovered that they could actually go on these shows and show that they were regular guys. They could laugh at themselves,” explains Lichter.

Donald Trump appeared on "Saturday Night Live" twice, most recently in November, 2015. In recent weeks, however, Trump has been critical of his depiction on that show, tweeting that actor “Alec Baldwin’s portrayal can’t get any worse.” He also called the award-winning show not funny, unwatchable and totally biased.

Trump better get used to all the jokes about him, says Ms. Dagnes, because “the president is 100 percent of the time the most satirized figure in American politics.”

She notes that political satire is surging on the internet with people emailing videos, photos, cartoons, and political commentary to one another or posting it on social media like Facebook.

In this age of political negativity, Robert Lichter thinks political satire is needed more than ever to make people laugh.

Ancient Chinese herb seen
as a tuberculosis remedy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have found that a drug used to treat malaria may also aid in the treatment of tuberculosis. The ancient Chinese herb, artemisinin, has the potential to shorten how long it takes to treat the illness, something that could also fight drug resistance to antibiotics.

Scientists say they don't know yet by how much time artemisinin might shorten a course of standard anti-tuberculosis drugs, but experiments in the test tube suggest that it could have a significant impact.

The bacterium that causes tuberculosis can lie dormant for years before taking advantage of a weakened immune system to 'wake up' and spread.

It's believed a significant portion of the world’s population has latent tuberculosis. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of the world's population is infected with TB, which killed 1.8 million people in 2015.

Experts say those with the active form of the disease also harbor dormant bacteria, a state in which they are largely resistant to antibiotics. That’s why it takes six months or longer to treat it with antibiotics.

Now, researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that artemisinin, a mainstay of malaria treatment, prevents the pathogen that causes the illness from going into a dormant state, exposing more of the bacteria to the drugs.

Microbiologist Robert Abramovitch notes that many people who start taking antibiotics begin to feel better in a few days, as the active bacteria are killed. So they stop taking their pills, potentially causing a resistant strain of tuberculosis to develop.

“It’s the dormant bacteria that take a long time to kill," he stresses. "So if we can kill the dormant bacteria with, let’s say, artemisinin or some of the other compounds we discovered, we can maybe shorten the course of therapy, and by doing that, we can reduce the sorts of clinical behaviors that are driving the evolution of drug resistant strains.”

The finding was published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

U.S. government officials say
Russian relations not frozen

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. officials expressed bafflement Wednesday over Kremlin comments that relations between Washington and Moscow are practically frozen.

"I was just as much surprised as you," a high-ranking U.S. official told reporters, adding that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov should be asked about his comments.

The Kremlin official's assertion came just a day after a telephone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and on the same day that American and Russian military officers held a video conference to discuss flight safety over Syria.

"The dialogue has not been broken," State Department spokesman John Kirby said at Wednesday's daily briefing. "Communications are not frozen."

Washington remains committed to dialogue and communication, he said.

U.S. officials acknowledge significant differences with Russia at a time of heightened tensions, ranging from Moscow's backing of Syria's government in its brutal offensive against rebels to alleged Russian interference in the recent U.S. presidential election.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia's Mir TV on Wednesday that almost every level of dialogue had been severed with the United States.

Peskov is also quoted as saying he expects president-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration to take a fresher and more constructive approach.

His remarks came a day after the White House expressed its commitment to implementing new economic sanctions on Russia, which is a decision the Russian foreign ministry said it regretted, while also vowing Moscow will take commensurate measures.

Leaders from Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow on Tuesday, excluding representatives from the United States and the United Nations, to discuss solutions to ending the nearly six-year war in Syria.

There are expectations that U.S.-Russian ties, which became increasingly tense during the eight years of the Obama administration, are set to improve when Trump takes office.

drone on
Flirtey photo  
A Flirtey drone in operation.

Nevada startup pioneers
successful drone deliveries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A small Nevada start-up says it has beaten Google and Amazon in establishing routine commercial drone deliveries in the United States.

Flirtey, which has been working with the 7-Eleven convenience store, said it had completed 77 successful deliveries by drone.

"We have now successfully completed the first month of routine commercial drone deliveries to customer homes in partnership with 7-Eleven," Flirtey chief executive Matthew Sweeny said in a statement. "This is a giant leap towards a future where everyone can experience the convenience of Flirtey's instant store-to-door drone delivery."

According to the drone delivery service, the deliveries were all made on weekends during November. Some of the items ordered included hot food, cold drinks as well as over-the-counter medicines.

Users make the orders using an application, and the drone uses a GPS to find its way. Upon arrival, the drone hovers over the customer’s address and slowly lowers its cargo.

Flirtey said deliveries took, on average, 10 minutes from order to delivery.

The company said it plans to expand its delivery services in the coming year.

Flirtey reportedly also made the first commercial drone delivery in the United States this past July when a drone delivered a chicken sandwich, coffee and donuts to a customer near Reno, Nevada.

The news from Flirtey comes after online retail giant Amazon announced its first successful drone delivery in England earlier this month.

Google and retailing giant Wal-Mart are both exploring drone delivery services.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe
maintains his proactive role

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Next week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to engage in a now familiar diplomatic offensive to reconcile lingering resentment over his country’s wartime past when he visits the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii. Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. naval base in 1941 killed over 2,000 Americans and drew the United States into World War II.

After alienating regional neighbors in 2013 by visiting the Yasukuni war shrine that honors millions of war dead, but also includes the names of over a thousand convicted war criminals, the conservative Japanese leader has taken a very proactive role to address concerns over his efforts to recast wartime history with a less apologetic tone, and to ease the limits of Japan's pacifist constitution.

“He’s done a good job in the last two years or so of really, I would say, keeping his mouth shut and not expressing his, what are probably his deeply held, views about recent regional history, particularly involving World War II. And that’s what statesmen do,” said Grant Newsham, a senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo.

Abe is a perceived nationalist who embraces a revisionist view of history that portrays Japan not as the imperialistic aggressor in World War II, but as a nation that tried to push back against U.S. and European domination of Asia.

“The counter narrative, one of revisionists, the one that is led by Abe, is that that is one sided and biased, and that Japan is the victim of victors’ justice and victors’ history, that unfairly impugns Japan and tarnishes its reputation,” said Jeff Kingston, the director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo, during a recent seminar at the school.

Comments by Abe and his supporters that downplay or omit wartime atrocities committed by Japan have enraged China, where an estimated 20 million Chinese died fighting the Japanese in the 1930s and 1940s, and South Korea, which Japan ruled as a colony from 1910 to 1945.

Regarding the estimated 200,000 Asian “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military during its occupation of Asia and during World War II, the Japanese leader has used elusive language to express remorse without assuming responsibility for past abuse.

Some Abe supporters caused widespread outrage in Asia with claims that many so-called comfort women were not coerced but willingly engaged in prostitution for financial gain.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye had refused to hold any bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Abe until he offered proper atonement and reparations.

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Sámara titled land for sale by owner
5.7 acres. Only 150 meters to beach: $275,000
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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:    Phone: 506-4033-6695.

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Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 253
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bee sugar
Casa Presidencial photo
A Cruz Roja worker move the sugar delivery.

Sugar shipped to help hungry bees

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Honey bees also have been affected by rains generated by Hurricane Otto. The downpours forced the insects to stay in their hives and not gather nectar.

So the government has come to the aid of 35 beekeepers in the Coto Brus area and delivered 1,250 kilos of sugar. The sugar will be turned into syrup to give the bees a steady food source while the colonies rebuild. About 900 colonies will benefit.

The beekeepers made an appeal to President Luis Guillermo Solís when he toured the storm-ravaged area. The sugar comes from the Liga Agricola Industrial de la Caña de Azúcar, and the Cruz Roja made the delivery.

The families belong to an association of honey producers.

The most recent sugar donation is the third from the same source. The total now has reached 8,400 kilos.

The sugar will not end up in the honey sold in the markets. The bees will convert the sugar syrup to energy as they go out and forage nectar and raise more bees.

Hospital México delays some surgeries

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hospital México said Wednesday that it has suspended scheduled or elective surgeries for three to four weeks.

The hospital director, Douglas Montero, said officials made this decision because of the number of emergency cases that the facility is handling.  Some cases are very complex and require the attention of more staffers, he said.

Some of these patients are suffering from cancerous tumors or aneurisms or have been victims of traffic accidents, he added.

The hospital is reported at capacity for some sections related to intensive care, and the staff is planning to install 10 more beds for critically ill patients in the next few days, the hospital reported.

Hospital México  has plans for a $52 million project that will add more operating rooms, a maternity section and more critical care space, the hospital noted.

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From Page 7:

Stay mum on vacations, police warn residents

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sharing holiday stories and photos may be fun, but the most attentive audience may be crooks, the Fuerza Pública warned Wednesday.

The police agency urged residents to remember that social media postings can be read by people who are certainly not friends. A posting about a wonderful vacation also means that the house might be empty, police said.

Such discussions would be better if delayed until the end of the vacation, said Juan José Andrade, a vice minister of  Seguridad Pública.

Caution is a good policy even during non-vacation periods, but residents should be extra careful during what is high season for crooks, he said.