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Published Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 165
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In this index, happy does not really mean happy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The New Economic Foundation ranked Costa Rica again first on its annual Happy Planet Index. But more and more news outlets are tumbling to the fact that this means something other than what the words imply.

As the Associated Press said: This does not mean that Costa Rica is home to the world’s cheeriest people, but rather that the Central American country has reached a balance where its citizens lead relatively long and satisfied lives without an outsized impact on the planet.

Despite what the index says, readers can expect another flood of promotional material claiming Costa Rica has the happiest people. That has been going on since 2009 when Costa Rica was in the top spot followed closely by the happy folks in Vietnam.

This year Costa Rica battled through Vietnam
again and Vanuatu, Bangladesh, Mexico and Colombia to regain the top spot.

“People living in Costa Rica have higher well being than the residents of many rich nations, including the U.S.A. and the U.K., and live longer than people in the U.S.A. And all of this is achieved with a per capita ecological footprint that’s just one third of the size of the U.S.A.’s,” said the foundation.

The index is weighted heavily by what is called the ecological footprint. That is supposed to be the average impact that residents of a country place on the environment. Costa Rica has a hidden advantage in the index because much of its electrical power is produced by hydro projects.

But the country could be happier on the index, according to the foundation, if public officials would just raise the taxes to effectively redistribute wealth across the population.


Police return for a new sweep in Playas del Coco
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers closed down four bars in Playas del Coco and issued warnings to the operators of three others during a sweep Saturday night.

Officers said they suspected drug sales, operations outside of legal hours and problems with liquor licenses.

Police also paid surprise visits to the Guanacaste communities of Belén, Playa Hermosa and Santa Cruz. Police said they checked out 210 persons and dozens of vehicles. They managed to confiscate 10 baggies of marijuana and an additional 14 grams of the same substance. In addition they said they found some cocaine.

Police have been conducting periodic sweeps in Playas del Coco since a visiting Escazú man died at the hands of a mob there in February. Officials from the Municipalidad de Carrillo also participated in the sweep.

closing
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Officials seal one Playas del Coco bar

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 165
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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

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
restored over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
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Psychotherapy

Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
Psychologist
International Practice

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
www.LucindaGray.com
New World Meditation
9057-2/25/17

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
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Residency experts

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Tel: (323) 255-6116
8964-9/17/16

 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
Ms. Summers
Marlene B. Summers
U.S. citizens, plan now for your tax year. Let me help you pay only the tax  you must!
 
Take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion.
 
If your filing is not up-to-date, the Streamlined Filing Procedure can be used to mitigate penalties.   Including  disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid future problems. 

File current or past due FBARs with no penalties to meet IRS requirements.
File your current or amended returns.

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Phone (506) 2289-6590 or (506) 8750-2316
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U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
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(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
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E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
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James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
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pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
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Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
8984-4/6/17

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
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Real estate agents and services

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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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9056-2/28/17
Thousands of bullets lifted from police

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security ministry has a mystery and a scandal on its hands.

The ministry said Friday that someone took thousands of rounds of ammunition from the Escuela Nacional de Policía March 31.

Taken were 7,500 rounds of 9-mm. shells and 1,000 .38-caliber bullets, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. The school is in Barrio Córdoba, San José.

The Dirección Nacional de Armamento, which handles firearms and ammunition for the ministry, conducted an investigation, and the ministry said there were seven suspects. Judicial investigators have been called in.

There was no reason given why there was such a delay in reporting the thefts. The ministry also did not outline the exact circumstances.


Gabriela Vega assumes manager post

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Gabriela Vega Barrantes has been named general manager of Consultantes Río Colorado S.A., the parent firm of A.M. Costa Rica.

As general manager, Ms. Vega will expand her responsibilities to include the administrative and technical departments of the firm as well as overseeing advertising sales. She had been advertising director.

In addition, Jay Brodell, a founder, editor and one of the owners of the company has announced his retirement as of Nov. 25 when he will be 74. He will assume the title of editor emeritus.

The company said that it is seeking candidates for managing editor to be responsible for the day-to-day editorial product of the paper.

Ms. Vega will head the search. She also will be responsible for the development of A.M. titles in other Latin American countries and other titles operated by the company. So far active titles include A.M. Cuba, Medical Vacations in Costa Rica, The Cafta Report and Retire NOW in Costa Rica.


Our reader’s opinion
Don’t call the cash to Iran ransom

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Your headline mischaracterizes the cash transfer made to Iran in return for the release of four Americans as ransom when, in fact, it was a leveraged exchange.

Decades ago, Iranian deposits in U.S. banks were frozen. As part of the recently negotiated treaty to limit Iran’s nuclear development, trade sanctions were lifted, and it was agreed that some or all of those frozen assets still held in U.S. banks would be released. The initial release of some of Iran’s frozen assets was conditioned upon release of the four Americans, but that cash transfer does not meet the definition of ransom regardless what your headline writer misstates.

When ransom is paid, it is paid with the payer’s own assets as, for instance, when a family pays their own money to kidnappers for the return of their family member. In the case of the cash transfer to Iran, it was Iran’s own money all along that was delivered and not funds of the U.S. government or any other entity. Cash was withdrawn from Iranian accounts at U.S. banks, converted to other currencies, and airlifted to Iran.

Leverage, on the other  hand, is when two parties hold something of value to each other which they pressure each other to return.

Imagine that your neighbor borrows your lawnmower and won’t return it unless you return his leaf blower. If your grass is high enough, and if his leaves are deep enough, you’ll return his leaf blower in order to get your lawnmower back. He’ll return your lawnmower in order to get his leaf blower back. The neighbor is leveraging his possession of your lawnmower against your possession of his leaf blower and vice versa, but neither of you is paying ransom to the other.

And that’s what happened between the U.S. and Iran. Iran wanted their own money returned badly enough that they agreed to release the four Americans whom the U.S. wanted back. Each party leveraged their position against the other, but no ransom was paid.

“I’ll give you back your money if you give me back my citizens.” — leverage.
David C. Murray
Grecia

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Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 165
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Ex-president Rodríguez received final acquittal in Alcatel scandal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The declaration of innocence for former president Miguel Angel Rodríguez has been upheld in a Sala III appeal.

The former president has long maintained that he is innocent of corruption involving the Alcatel cell telephone deal. He was convicted once, and that trial court decision was overturned. He was declared innocent in a new trial, and prosecutors appealed that decision, but it was upheld. Then prosecutors appealed the case to the Sala Tercera, part of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.

The United States prosecuted an Alcatel CIyT executive who pleaded guilty and admitted paying more than $2.5 million to Costa Rican government officials to obtain a cell telephone contract from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.  The
former executive was Christian Sapsizian, a French citizen. He implicated others here.

Alcatel was awarded a $149 million mobile telephone contract in August 2001.

Rodríguez had to quit a prestigious job as secretary general of the Organization of American States to return to Costa Rica to defend himself from the criminal charges. He was not directly related to the bribes, but prosecutors contended that he was behind the process.

Another politician who was involved but not prosecuted is José María Figueres Olsen, another former president.  He received about $900,000 from Alcatel as an adviser from 2000 to 2003.  Figueres is a presidential candidate in the next election.


Día de la Independencia holiday is out of step with history
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those drums that have picked up tempo in recent days are school children practicing for the Día de la Independencia. That holiday is Sept. 15, a Thursday this year, but a lot of the action takes place the day before.

Newcomers might be surprised to know that a torch representing independence begins a trip by runner from the Colonial capital of Guatemala City to end up in Costa Rica’s own colonial capital, Cartago, the night of Sept. 14.

Thousands of school children participate in the relay, and for many this is something they remember their entire lives. The torch usually makes a stopover at Parque Central at 6 p.m. that night, and this is the time when many Costa Ricans go to the sidewalks to sing the national anthem. Secondary torches traverse the land.

The Archivo Nacional has pointed out that independence day here really is out of step with history because the notice that a regional council in Guatemala City had declared freedom from the Spanish crown did not arrive in Cartago until Oct. 13, 1821.

The archives said that many residents of Cartago were confused by the act of independence. Cartago leaders decided to set up a provisional government, but some objected and said that sovereignty resides in the citizenry, said the archives, adding that consequently six days later those attending an open meeting proclaimed Costa Rica’s independence.

Declaaton
Archivo Nacional photo
This is the first page of Costa Rica's declaration.




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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 165
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Artifact collector made the mistakes of advertising his wares
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those with archaeological collections probably will not get into trouble unless they advertise pre-Columbian pieces for sale.

But that is what one individual in Naranjo did, and that is what caused a judicial raid Friday. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the home raided was in San Miguel de Naranjo in Alajuela.

Agents said that a worker at the Museo Nacional alerted them that someone was advertising archaeological pieces for sale on a social network. The advertiser conveniently also published a home address.

Agents said they confiscated 45 pieces, including metates, manos and a variety of small pots.

Metates are those small stone platforms, frequently ceremonial, used to grind grain, and a mano is the stone roller that does the grinding. Metates often were used as offerings in graves, so there are a lot of them in collections. The museum displays some metates that are extraordinarily ornate and appear to have been carved from a single piece of stone.

None of the items confiscated appears to have been of museum quality, and there probably is no information on where the pieces are found and when.

Many Costa Rican families have collections of pre-Columbian artifacts and even some of those stone balls from south-central Costa Rica. The museum assumes all such items are covered

metates
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Agents confiscated metates, manos and lots of ceramics.

by the 1982 law on archeological finds, although many items are in collections that predate the law. In the past, some items confiscated in raids have had to be returned because the owners proved they were acquired before the law went into force.

Frequently, museum officials will check private collections on request and list the holdings.

Despite efforts by the museum, archaeological pieces can be found on sale at weekend flea markets. Most are items stolen in burglaries instead of being fresh from the ground. Adding to the confusion are shops in Guanacaste that make items identical to those made 1,500 years ago. Elaborate tests are needed to determine that they are new.

Residents in some Guanacaste communities, such as Guaitil in Santa Cruz, are using the same clay and molds that their ancestors used to provide ceramics for the Valley of México and the Mayan empires. Tourists who purchase such items usually are advised to keep sales slips handy to avoid misunderstandings at customs agencies.


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
Contact us by email: info@HiddenGardenArt.com  
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

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.
9045-10/29/16

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

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

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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

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Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes

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

Barrio Amon
Fully furnished, American style apartments for rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Cable, internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,  hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry.   Rate  $650 per month plus electricity. 1/2 month security deposit. No lease.  Larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be the best for the prospective tenants to visit the building to see the apartment.  For more information contact  edificiomorazan@gmail.com.  Or call Hilda at 506-2221-7161.
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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 165
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Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
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Axiom new ad

Trump makes revised pitches
to Latin, black communities


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, badly trailing Democratic contender Hillary Clinton among minority voters, is making a new pitch to court support among African Americans and Hispanics.

Trump told a largely white crowd of supporters in the Mid-Atlantic state of Virginia Saturday he recognizes that "outreach to the African American community is an area where the Republican party must do better, and will do better."

He noted the party's history, with the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, freeing slaves in the mid-1800s. "I want our party to be a home of the African American voter once again," Trump said.

Earlier, he met in New York with a group of Hispanics advising his campaign. According to several people who attended the gathering, he told them he wants to develop a humane and efficient way to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, the majority of whom are from Mexico and Central America.

Trump has accused Mexico of sending rapists and criminals across the southern U.S. border, and he surged to the Republican nomination with a call to build a wall between the two countries and deport those living in the U.S. illegally.

Sunday, his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told CNN that Trump's plans to deport the undocumented immigrants are to be determined.

Trump's efforts in recent days to court black voters before mostly white political rallies have come after he declined invitations in recent weeks to speak to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country's most prominent civil rights group, and a group of black and Hispanic journalists, both of which Hillary Clinton addressed.

National political surveys show Mrs. Clinton has amassed huge leads among both black and Hispanic voters, with Trump's support among blacks registering only in the low single digit percentages and one poll showing he has only marginally better support among Hispanics, about 14 percent.

Yet Trump, often given to boastful claims, told one rally that if he wins the presidency in the Nov. 8 election and runs for re-election in 2020 he would win 95 percent of the black vote.

"I will produce for the inner cities, and I will produce for the African Americans," Trump said. "The Democrats will not produce, and all they've done is taken advantage of your vote. That's all they've done. And once the election's over, they go back to their palaces in Washington, and you know what, they do nothing for you, just remember it."

Less than three months before the election, Mrs. Clinton holds a 5.3 percentage point edge over Trump in several national surveys, according to the political Web site realclearpolitics.com. But U.S. political analysts say she holds a significant edge in a collection of battleground election states where the outcome of the quadrennial presidential race is likely to be decided.

In the United States, the race for the White House is not decided by the popular vote, but rather in the Electoral College, where the voting is determined by the outcome in each state, weighted according to its population.

Mrs. Clinton has been off the campaign trail for several days, concentrating her efforts on major fundraising events, meeting wealthy donors in Martha's Vineyard, a summer playground along the Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern state of Massachusetts.

Tuesday she is attending a Los Angeles fundraising lunch hosted by pop singer Justin Timberlake and prominent Hollywood figures that costs $33,400 per guest. Then she heads back across the country for more fundraising in the wealthy Hamptons area of Long Island outside New York.


Clinton campaign is seeking
to reduce foundation liability


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton this week attempted to further distance itself from the Clinton Foundation, a charitable group founded by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The group has done charity work around the globe but has increasingly become a liability for Mrs. Clinton as she seeks the presidency.

Established in 1997, the Clinton Foundation is a non-profit corporation that funds global philanthropic work on issues such as global health, disaster relief, women's rights, economic growth and climate change.

Since its creation, the group has raised more than $2 billion from a large global network that includes foreign governments, organizations and individuals, including some with questionable human rights records.

Under U.S. law, foreign donors and countries are ineligible to give money to U.S. political campaigns. But by donating to the Clinton Foundation, some say those donors are exploiting a workaround that in effect buys them influence with the Clintons.

Before becoming secretary of State in 2009, Hillary Clinton agreed to separate her activities at the State Department from those at the Clinton Foundation. But conservative groups have long been suspicious that there was still an overlap.

Recently unveiled emails show that State Department aides to Hillary Clinton looked into doing favors for Clinton Foundation donors or people who were linked to donors, in what was for many a confirmation of overlap between the two entities.

Shortly after Clinton stepped down as secretary of State in 2013, the State Department expressed interest in, but didn't follow through with, buying real estate from a Nigerian company run by a man whose brother donated at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In another instance, a senior Clinton Foundation official, Doug Band, asked a top Clinton aide at the State Department about possibly getting a job for an individual whom he said it was important to take care of. The individual, whose name was redacted in the email, was subsequently sent options, according to a reply by Huma Abedin, the State Department aide. The outcome of the apparent job placement effort is not clear.

It's not clear if any of these actions are illegal, but  what was revealed in the emails does suggest a possible conflict of interest, according to Scott Amey, general counsel at the non-partisan Project on Government Oversight watchdog.

"I doubt my emails were going to get responded to by Huma Abedin," Amey said. "And at that point, you've created a system that allows favoritism."

But at this point, it does not appear that Hillary Clinton was implicated directly in any of the emails.

Amey says. "I think this is the kind of thing that happens every day in Washington, D.C.," he said, citing the outsized influence of wealthy lobbying groups and the tendency for top government officials to go back and forth between working in public and private positions.

"You always have to worry about whether people are getting some sort of unfair competitive advantage that is skewing the system or that isn't in the public interest," he added.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says the emails are evidence that the Clintons are corrupt, and that donors essentially engaged in inappropriate pay-to-play practices with them.

The accusation fits a longstanding attack pattern by conservatives, who have for decades tried to paint the Clintons as the ultimate insiders who have gotten wealthy by their connections to Wall Street billionaires.

The Clinton campaign has firmly denied any wrongdoing, saying that any decisions by State Department officials were made without considering the influence of donors.

But the Clintons have also been forced to distance themselves from their foundation. This week, Bill Clinton said the organization would no longer accept foreign or corporate money and that he would resign from its board if Hillary Clinton is elected.

Can the Clintons really separate themselves enough? Probably not, says Mark Rom, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University.

"When your name is on it, it's pretty hard to do that," he said. "Even if you really are entirely separate, and there is no communication at all, people will still say that they gave to the Clinton Foundation."

There have been increasing calls for the Clintons to shut down the organization altogether, and those calls seem likely to only grow louder as Election Day approaches.

The controversy probably won't go away, since Trump seems determined to make it a key campaign issue. There could also be more revelations about links between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

"There's bound to be more," said political scientist Larry Sabato. "The opposition party always saves things for the last few weeks of a campaign."


Obama is going back to work
after Martha’s Vineyard stay


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama was ending his golf-filled, oceanfront summer vacation Sunday, returning to Washington ahead of a trip early next month to China and Laos and campaigning to elect Democrat Hillary Clinton as his successor.

Obama spent 16 days with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters Malia and Sasha at Martha's Vineyard on the Atlantic Ocean shoreline in the northeastern state of Massachusetts, a favorite summertime retreat of wealthy Americans. He played numerous rounds of golf, his favorite athletic past-time, dined out often with family and friends and on Sunday went for a last-day-of-vacation hike with his wife.

Obama on Tuesday is heading to the flood-ravaged state of Louisiana in the southern part of the country, where 13 people have been killed by the raging waters and thousands left homeless. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton's opponent in the Nov. 8 presidential election, visited the state Friday.

While Obama made the worst affected parts of the state eligible for disaster-relief loans, his political critics scorned him for not interrupting his vacation to visit with people forced from their homes by days of rain and flooding. Federal emergency officials are among those offering assistance in what some say is the worst natural disaster in the United States since a tropical storm ravaged the northeastern part of the country four years ago.

Congress is still in the midst of a seven-week summer vacation. But when it returns after the Sept. 5 Labor Day holiday, Obama plans to press lawmakers to fund efforts to combat the mosquito-borne zika virus, to keep it from spreading and to develop a vaccine. Fractious lawmakers could not agree on a zika funding package before leaving Washington on their annual August break.

Obama heads to China and Laos from Sept. 2 to 9, his 11th and likely his last trip to Asia before leaving office next January.


Tech spy is given 50 months
for fighter jet engine exports


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A woman in the western U.S. state of California has been sentenced to 50 months in prison for conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle - commonly known as a drone - and related technical data to . . . China.

A U.S. Justice Department statement says 45-year-old Wenxia Man, also known as Wency Man of San Diego was convicted of the crime June 9.

Prosecutors say evidence shows that between March of 2011 and June of 2013, Ms. Man conspired with a contact in China named Zhang Xinsheng to send equipment that included engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, the F-16 fighter jet, and the MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Man described Zhang as a technology spy who worked on behalf of the Chinese military to copy items obtained from other countries, and stated that he was particularly interested in stealth technology, according to the statement.


Test to be N.Y. taxi driver
will not require English

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Taxi drivers in New York City, a largely immigrant community, are no longer required to know English.

A bill approved by the City Council in April, which went into effect Friday, allows taxi license tests to be administered in foreign languages.

New York City's taxi industry has been dominated by foreign-born drivers for decades. Only 4 percent of current New York cab drivers were born in the U.S., according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Some New York residents are concerned that the new law would make communication between the driver and the customer even more difficult, unsure how they would instruct a driver which route to take or inquire about precisely where they are headed.

But increased use of GPS and navigation apps has been found to decrease the amount of necessary communication between drivers and their riders.

Sponsors of the bill in the City Council argued that the law will allow for more immigrants in need of work to sustain themselves, and many New Yorkers feel that as long as their driver can get them to their destination safely, conversation is not needed.


Hearst Castle closes doors
due to nearby forest fire


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A wind-driven fire in central California has forced the closing of the historic Hearst Castle.

The fire in San Luis Obispo county has destroyed 48 structures and burned more than 8,000 hectares since Aug. 13 and is about four kilometers from the popular tourist attraction that houses a large art collection that belonged to William Randolph Hearst.

Meanwhile, officials say the Blue Cut wildfire in Southern California that has destroyed more than 300 homes and outbuildings is 80 percent contained. The fire has burned more than 15,000 hectares in the mountain areas of San Bernardino County 120 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles.

No deaths have been reported in the Blue Cut fire, officials said, adding that an investigation into the cause of the blaze continues. At its height, the wildfire threatened more than 34,000 homes, and more than 82,000 residents were told to evacuate.

Firefighters are battling at least six other wildfires in the western U.S. state.

A five-year drought has left huge swaths of land with dried trees and brush.

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 13, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported 3,874 fires that have burned 45,700 hectares and killed seven people, according to the Los Angeles Times.

This week, nearly 30 major wildfires have burned about 850 square kilometers in eight western U.S. states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.


Zika is likely to threaten
for two years, experts say


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States can expect the zika virus to hang around as long as two more years, with the Gulf Coast states being the most vulnerable, according to one of the country's top medical experts.

"I would not be surprised if we see cases in Texas, in Louisiana, particularly now where you have a situation with flooding in Louisiana," Anthony Fauci told ABC television's “This Week” broadcast Sunday.

Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes the Gulf region is ripe for zika because it is a sub-tropical or semi-tropical region with the right mosquitoes and individuals who have travel-related cases.

He said the U.S. has to be prepared for a broad outbreak of zika, but he does not think that is likely because of what Fauci calls conditions in the U.S.

"Hopefully, we get to a point to where we could suppress it so we won't have any risk of it," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control has warned pregnant women to avoid the popular South Beach area of Miami Beach, Florida, and the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami after seven suspected Zika cases were discovered last week.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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Real estate for sale (paid category)


New graphic
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paco two

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 
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Kennedy
                                  graphic
Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a three-bedroom, ine-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach. Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc. Super fenced yard for dogs. Very low electric bill even with the AC. Very secure & private. Police chief next door. Very easy & inexpensive to expand this house as all neighbors have done. $149,900. Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.
9060-11/3/16

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 $850K 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
9023-9/13/16

Condo
                                  rollover

Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
 
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
 
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:  parqueos@gmail.com
8936-8/6/16

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
land
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: www.condojaco.com Contact: Frank condojaco1@gmail.com
8942-9/1/

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

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Real estate for sale
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A.M.
Costa
Rica
sixth
news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 165
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News from the BBC up to the minute















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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
A garden hose is for blasting, too

I have recently discovered the joys of hydraulic gardening; just me and a high pressure hose against dirt and clay. “Why,” you may ask, “are you
Victoria Torley
gardening with a hose?” Good question.

You see, I have problems with my shoulders and my hips so digging things out with a trowel or a shovel just leaves me craving a large rum and Coke or a couple of extra punch pain pills. Plus there is a lot of dirt out there.

Okay, there is a lot of dirt everywhere, but this particular dirt is stuck around the roots of a downed pilón tree and is particularly hard to shift. It must have been one of the Great Trees in its day but, judging from the missing top 20 meters and the hollowness of the bottom 15 meters, it was long dead when we arrived on the property. The only thing left to do was harvest the hollow sections for furniture – not a bad idea when the buttress roots are 4 meters wide and leave the roots. Over time, though, I realized that those roots were something special even though they were half buried.

Half buried roots aren’t a bad thing if you have found a lot of wild orchids, and I have, but attaching them can be a bit of a problem. Usually, I just tie them to a tree with lengths of old sheets, but with roots there is nothing to tie around. There just aren’t holes from side to side. Mostly, I try to tuck the roots into cracks in the woody covering of the root or in places where the root has split and then add a cover of moss or pieces of bark to hold the orchid body in place. Unfortunately, I have the help of two dogs when I garden.

Bravo, the shepherd, thinks that any loose piece of bark or large stick should be well worried and chewed before use. I like to carry a spare stick that I can distract him with if I need to use a piece of wood or bark to secure the orchid. And the spaniel? She is a sort of overseer. She wants to poke every orchid with her nose to make sure I have held it in place properly, but, as I keep explaining to her, the orchid would have stayed in place if her nose hadn’t dislodged it. Between the two of them, I never get as much accomplished as I had hoped.

If only I could get them to dig holes, exactly where I want them . . . .

flower
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

Exactly what is a weed? The gardener’s definition is, “a plant growing where you don’t want it to grow.” Okay, it’s longer and more complicated than that and rambles on about things that are unvalued, wild and rank, and hindering the growth of things you had planned to grow. I say, “who cares?” Take a look at this fragile beauty, tiny, pale and delicate. When I asked for its name, all I got was, monte, the local word for weed. Alright, it’s a weed, but I dug it up and transplanted it anyway. Someday I will know its name but for now, I just like looking at it.


If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!
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From Page 7:

Peninsula Papagayo Resort changes hands

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Peninsula Papagayo Resort has changed hands. The sale includes the Four Seasons Papagayo, the Marina Papagayo and the 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, as well as a beach club, said an announcement.

The purchaser is an affiliate of  Gencom, Miami, Florida, a firm with a specialization in hospitality properties. There was no report of the sale amount.

The project is a 1,400-acre development that has been promoted strongly by the Costa Rican government.