A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 28, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 84
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Hundreds of diplomatic jobs
remain unfilled under Trump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With U.S. President Donald Trump facing challenges overseas in Syria and North Korea, as well as growing tensions with Russia, the public face of his administration remains largely unknown, with hundreds of top U.S. diplomatic positions still unfilled.

So far, only two new U.S. ambassadors have been confirmed: to Israel and the United Nations.

More than three months into his presidency, Trump has nominated others for China, New Zealand, Japan, Congo and Senegal. He has not yet nominated anyone for 181 out of a total of 188 U.S. ambassadorships.

In the first four months of his presidency, Barack Obama had nominated eight ambassadors. George W. Bush had nominated three, Bill Clinton 15 and George H.W. Bush 14, according to the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Presidential Transition.

Tuesday, the nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to China, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, will appear in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his first nomination hearing.

But as tensions on the Korean Peninsula rise, Trump has not yet nominated a U.S. ambassador to South Korea or an assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Ambassadors are normally political appointees and are traditionally replaced under each new administration.

The Brookings Institution's Thomas Wright calls this level of unfilled senior positions unprecedented and worrisome.

"If you take, for instance, the recent summit with President Xi Jinping of China, there were very few Asia experts appointed to senior positions," Wright said. "Those people normally would be crucial in guiding that summit along. And so this, I think, is having a damaging effect on an ongoing basis."

Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner sought to quell concerns at a recent briefing.

"I can assure everyone in this room and everyone in the United States and around the world that these are not vacancies, that there are senior State Department officials serving in acting capacities, but these folks are seasoned veterans of the Foreign Service and seasoned diplomats," Toner said.

The acting spokesman and career diplomat said appointing new ambassadors and assistant secretaries of state always takes time under every new administration.

But why is this administration having more problems filling top positions than previous ones?

Retired U.S. Ambassador Ron Neumann said it may have something to do with Trump's vetting team.

"There is a very small group in the White House that is controlling a lot of things, and there are some tensions within that group," Neumann said. "But in addition to that, it is just small. So it's perfectly possible that a large part of the delay is simply that those making the decisions are totally overloaded."

Neumann, now president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, noted that when it comes to top foreign policy positions within the State Department, there may be other considerations.

Tillerson's spokesman, R.C. Hammond, confirmed there was no sense nominating candidates for jobs that may eventually be cut.

The Trump administration has proposed cutting the State Department's budget by close to 30 percent. Congressional leaders from both major political parties have said they will not approve such cuts.

Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass said the most natural pool of talent on the Republican side has been precluded from consideration because many signed open letters criticizing then-candidate Trump during the campaign.

Trump holds on original call
to pull from NAFTA deal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Donald Trump said phone conversations Wednesday with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau persuaded him not to imminently withdraw the United States from their countries' three-way trade pact.

He reiterated his long-standing assertion that the 1994 trade agreement has been very good for Canada. It has been very good for Mexico. But it has been horrible for the United States.

The U.S. president's softening tone on what is perceived as America's most crucial trade pact is being well-received.

Trump has already withdrawn the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, although that deal had not been ratified by Congress.

A Mexican government statement on Wednesday's phone call between Trump and Peña Nieto stated the leaders agreed on the convenience of maintaining the North American FreeTrade Agreement and working with Canada to bring about successful negotiations.

A Canadian foreign ministry spokesman said Ottawa is ready to come to the table at any time.

Trump targeted Canada this week for what he said was unfair trade practices and he ordered a new 20 percent tariff on Canadian lumber imports, which could add to the cost of buying new houses in the United States.

Many Mexican officials have called NAFTA a disappointment, saying it has brought slow economic growth despite increased investment in factories and industry.

Low-cost drug is available
to prevent postpartum woes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study.

Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience.

The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit.

But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating the phenomenon.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has done just that, in a trial involving 20,000 women in 21 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. The results show tranexamic acid reduces the risk of bleeding to death by almost a third, with no side effects for either mothers or babies.

Dr. Nike Bello, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist in Nigeria, said that if a drug can prevent hysterectomies, a drug can prevent death, a drug can minimize the amount of blood we need, then that is a good thing, all over the world.

But there are challenges to getting the drug where it is needed. First, the doctors must know about its effectiveness, said professor Ian Roberts of the London tropical medicine school, who led the latest research.

In the trial, tranexamic acid was given via a drip. Researchers say the next step is to find an easier way to administer the drug so it can be used in clinics and rural settings across the world.

Iraqi militiamen discover
destruction of Hatra heritage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Iraqi militiamen, who drove Islamic State fighters from the ancient city of Hatra this week, found that the group had destroyed relics dating back more than 2,000 years.

"The sculptures and engraved images are destroyed, but the walls and towers of the kingdom of Hatra remain standing," said Marwa Rashid, a spokeswoman for Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces, a Shi'ite militia that is clearing Islamic State from villages north of Mosul in northern Iraq.

The units took full control over the historic city, about 110 kilometers southwest of Mosul, after a three-week offensive. Its recapture was a part of a regional military operation known as Muhammad Prophet of God.

Known historically as the ancient city where East meets West, Hatra is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site and considered one of the archeological jewels of Iraq and capital of the first Arab kingdom. The large fortified site was founded in the 2nd or 3rd century B.C. and once was a thriving city under the influence of the Parthian Empire.

Its high and thick walls, reinforced by towers, helped it withstand invasions by the Romans in the years 116 and 198. Its temples offer a unique blend of Hellenistic and Roman architecture with Eastern decorative features.

The site stood undisturbed for decades until April 2015, when Islamic State invaded it. Citing Hatra's un-Islamic nature, the group began destroying relics on the site.

In a video released by Islamic State after its occupation, fighters are seen smashing sculptures with sledgehammers and destroying images and artifacts on ancient walls with assault rifles.

UNESCO, the cultural heritage arm of the United Nations, called the destruction a war crime and has urged political and religious leaders in the region to take note.

Militia units said Islamic State had planted land mines around the eastern gates of the site to deter their advances. Engineering teams will clear the site of any explosives before allowing Iraqi archeologists to assess the damage.

Since mid-2014, Islamic State has destroyed dozens of historic sites in Iraq and Syria, including mosques, churches and Shi'ite religious halls known as hussainiyas. The group says shrines and statues are false idols that must be destroyed.

Sermed Alwan, president of the Iraqi Mesopotamian Heritage Association, said the extent of the damage nationwide to ancient sites had yet to be determined. But the initial accounting of the damage in Hatra is heartbreaking, he said.

NASA spacecraft sails
between rings and Saturn

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cassini spacecraft sailed into uncharted territory Wednesday between the planet Saturn and the rings that encircle it, and emerged Thursday unscathed.

The Cassini craft is the first and only spacecraft to ever venture into the gap between Saturn and its rings. It sent back its first signal early Thursday morning, about 20 hours after the crossing took place.

Scientists lost contact with the ship during the passing because its antenna had to be shifted to protect the scientific equipment from potentially damaging material floating in Saturn's rings.

The rings of Saturn are made up of moving particles of ice and space debris.

NASA scientists plan on performing 21 more crossings between now and September. The next scheduled crossing is set for May 2.

Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, but it is running low on fuel, so scientists decided to conduct the ring crossings before the spacecraft becomes inoperable in the near future.

Congress investigation finds
Flynn did accept money

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, took more than $500,000 from Turkey and tens of thousands of dollars from Russian interests after being warned in 2014, when he retired as an Army lieutenant general, not to accept payments from foreign governments, new documents show.

"We have no evidence, zilch, that he obtained permission from the secretary of the Army and the secretary of state to accept any foreign government payments as required by law," Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Thursday..

One document showed the U.S. Defense Department's inspector general's office had opened its own investigation into whether Flynn sought permission to accept the payments from the foreign governments. That investigation is separate from the congressional probe.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Defense Department probe of Flynn was appropriate if they think there is wrongdoing.

But Spicer said the Trump administration did not review Flynn's security clearance before he was named national security adviser, relying instead on a 2016 renewal of the clearance during the administration of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, which occurred after Flynn's 2015 trip to Russia.

Among other payments, Flynn was paid $45,000 in 2015 to attend the 10th anniversary of the Kremlin-controlled Russia Today television network, sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gala dinner.

Spicer said Trump made the right decision at the right time and he continues to stand by it, regarding his firing of Flynn in February after just 24 days on the job. Trump ousted Flynn after it was learned he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to Washington in the weeks before Trump assumed power.

Flynn's Russian connections are a key component of investigations by the House and Senate intelligence committees and the top U.S. law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, into details of the U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia meddled in the U.S. election to boost Trump's chances of winning.

Cummings said the White House had refused congressional requests to turn over its records related to Flynn's hiring at the White House, which could shed light on whether Trump and other officials knew of the Russian and Turkish payments to Flynn when he was named to the key security position.

Earlier this week, Spicer said it had turned over Flynn-related documents to congressional investigators.

On Tuesday, however, Cummings and Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House panel, held a joint news conference in which they said Flynn might have broken the law by not disclosing the payments when he filed paperwork last year to renew his security clearance.

More news of the Americas
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Real estate services
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Plantation Acres
This exiting new project offers spectacular home sites with breathtaking ocean and forest views stated on 100 acres of tropical forest.

* On-site Welcome Center
* Located between Punta Leona and Playa Agujas
* At just an hour from San José, the capital city.
* 5 minutes from Los Sueños Marina and 18 Hole Ted Robinson Golf Course
* 10 minutes from Jacó Beach, Costa Rica’s lives beach town

Johnny Lopez
Phone: (506) 8945-5820 / (506) 2643-3356

Puriscal home
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
Video Tour:
Community Web Site:
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here:

Etlinger Farm
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is and photo album can be found at

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email:

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 and mountains. Located only 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 CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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:

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

                                  Tamarindo The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

                                    Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


Real estate-related services (paid category)

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SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     For more info also see our sites: 

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. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let help you find a buyer or renter.

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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!

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Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

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