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Published Thursday, May 19, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 98
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axiom new d


volcano
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica photot
The national emergency commission reestablished a five-kilometer safety radius around the Turrialba volcano Wednesday
after this late morning eruption that lasted nearly two hours. This has become a daily occurrence.


Cases around Jacó now are 31
Expats organize against zika to save surfing games

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A group of expats and others are seeking to create a sustained effort to halt the growing number of zika virus cases in the Jacó area. The outbreak threatens the World Surfing Games and the $36 million it is expected to bring to the local tourism economy, they said.

Robert Sinclair, representing the expat effort, said Wednesday that not enough resources are being directed to stem the epidemic.

Meanwhile, the Ministerio de Salud reported that 31 cases of zika have been confirmed in the canton of Garabito where the central Pacific community of Jaco is located. One case is that of a women in her 25th week of pregnancy, the ministry said.

The canton also suffered from 367 cases of chikungunya and 465 cases of dengue already this year, ministry statistics show. The three diseases are spread by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Sinclair said that he and fellow expats attended a meeting Tuesday with Rodrigo Marín Rodríguez, the national coordinator of disease-spreading organisms. Sinclair said that the epidemiologist said that existing resources and efforts are insufficient.

So the residents are trying to enlist volunteers to join the campaign. “The Jaco community needs to get behind a sustained effort to stop this advancing pandemic,” Sinclair said.  “Unchecked, the impact of the zika virus on local and national tourism could be devastating if one considers the downturn in Rio Olympics tourist attendance.”

The games are supposed to be in August with thousands expected to attend.

Sinclair said that he and his associates were using social media to develop a sustainable program to eradicate the spread of the zika virus in the Jaco area and address the immediate need for protecting participants and the expected 100,000 visitors to the surfing games. He said that the group provided food and water to the zika response team Wednesday morning.

The ministry said that in Garabito alone its

crews visited 5,000 homes and conducted
32,400 separate fumigations. Many homes have been fumigated up to four times. Crews also eliminated or treated 33,000 locations where mosquito larvae could grow into adults, the ministry said. The report Wednesday said that 468 of these locations tested positive for mosquito larvae.

Despite the unusually dry weather this year, mosquitoes seem to have thrived. The ministry reports 1,410 cases of  chikungunya and 6,660 cases of dengue already this year. The bulk of the cases are in 16 cantons.

Throughout the country, the health ministry said that crews visited more than 304,000 homes and eliminated more than 12,000 breeding spots that tested positive to larvae.

Garabito has the most cases of zika in the country and is second after Abangares for the number of chikungunya cases. The canton ranks eighth in dengue cases after Atenas, Parrita, Nandayure, Osa, Aguirre, Alajuela Centro and Cañas.

Other cantons with zika cases are Nicoya with eight, Carrillo with one and Alajuelita with four. The ministry also said there are seven confirmed zika cases and one probable case that have been imported from other countries.

In Jaco, as A.M. Costa Rica has reported, the bulk of the cases are in the Pueblo Nuevo area.

Marin, the epidemiologist, heads the department that maintains the statistical data base. He is on record calling the Aedes aegypti mosquito the favorite household pet of Costa Ricans.

Sinclair said the physician outlined a campaign to mobilize paid staff and volunteers to help clean up garbage and refuse where the zika-carrying mosquitoes breed and launch an aggressive public awareness program.

Roughly 40 people now from the health ministry are working 12-hour days fumigating, picking up trash and going door-to-door looking for mosquito breeding grounds, Sinclair said the physician reported.

Volunteers will undergo induction and training before going out in the field, Sinclair added.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 98
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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

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Psychotherapy

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Insurance professionals

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 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
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Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
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violinist
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Treissy Chavarría plays the violin during a concert last December at the Museo de los Niños.


Orchestra for ailing kids plans a concert

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An orchestra composed of chronically ill children will mark the group’s fifth anniversary with a free concert Saturday.

Not all the musicians are now in the Hospital Nacional de Niños, but all were at one time. The group is named Orquesta por la Vida and consists of 31 young musicians.

 An announcement of the concert highlighted Treissy Chavarría, an 18-year-old violinist who joined the group at the beginning. She received a visit from the music teachers while she was in the hospital recovering from a kidney transplant. They brought her a violin. At one point, the announcement said, she left the intensive care ward at Hospital Calderón Guardia to participate in a concert.

 The concert will be at 10 a.m. in the Iglesia Cristo Rey del Universo, in the Asociación Obras del Espíritu Santo in Barrio Cristo Rey.


‘Carmen’ inspires a presentation here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional will join with 11 dancers tonight and Friday at the Teatro Nacional to present a variation of “Carmen.”

This is not the opera with music composed by French composer Georges Bizet. The production dates from 1967 and is called “Suite Carmen.” The orchestra still promises ample doses of love and betrayal as in the opera, an announcement promised.

The composer of the latest work is Rodión Shchedrín, a Russian.  The choreographer is Alberto Alonso, a Cuban. The first performance was at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

The choreographer and performer here, Mario Vircha, is directing the dancers. The presentation is at 8 p.m. both days.


They’re seeds of the drug trade!

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ample seed of a mango might be big enough to hide a crack rock, but police are likely to become suspicious of someone carrying around such a seed.

The mango, of course, has a seed the size of a deck of cards. Fuerza Pública officers said that they stopped a man in San Rafael Arriba de Desamparados Tuesday night who had such a seed in a bag. Further inspection disclosed that the hollow seed contained 16 crack rocks. Each is usually sold for about 1,000 colons, a bit less than $2.

Police said this the second time they found a person carrying crack using a mango seed. That happened once in Guápiles in 2014, they said.


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Legal Notice
The State of Utah To:  Richard Lydenberg you are summoned and required to file an answer in writing to the Petition of Divorce filed in the case number: 164900117 within 30 days after the last day of publication, which is May 26, 2016, you must file your answer with the clerk of the court at: Third Judicial District Court of Salt Lake County, State of Utah, 450 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84114 and serve a copy of your answer to the Petitioner, if you fail to file and serve your answer on time, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the Petition. The Petition is on file with the clerk of the court. You can obtain a copy of the Petition by requesting one from the clerk of the court.

9002-5/26/16
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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 98
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Finance ministry tends to lump tax evasion with legal tax avoidance
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tax-collecting Ministerio de Hacienda has criticized tax avoidance as well as tax evasion in the wake of disclosures generated by the Panamá papers.

A statement under the name of Helio Fallas, first vice president and the minister of Hacienda, carries the headline “evasion and avoidance part of the same sickness.”

This has been a continuing theme by the ministry even though evasion is illegal and avoidance is structuring one’s financial affairs in a legal way in order to pay the lowest amount of taxes.

Even the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the legality of tax avoidance: "The legal right of an individual to decrease the amount of what would otherwise be his taxes or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted." That was said in 1918.

Fallas is pushing for more income tax and higher tax rates. But he also wants a law that requires Costa Rican corporations to identify shareholders. Presumably the tax collectors would link these shareholder lists to dividends paid and verify that the amounts have been reported as income.

The business community generally opposes making the lists available even to tax officials. Some fear crooks will get a hold of the lists to pick kidnapping targets or for other evil purposes. Some simply prefer privacy.

Fallas also, like most other tax collectors, would like to end the use of offshore accounts located in countries with little or no tax. U.S. tax law requires reporting and payment of income derived worldwide. The Costa Rica code only covers income generated within the country.
Fallas blamed some of the avoidance on obsolete tax laws. He also criticized offshore corporations that are created to take advantage of the favorable tax treatment in places the government calls tax paradises.

He also blamed gaps in the the country’s regulations.

U.S. companies go so far as to establish subsidiaries in other countries to gain a tax break. Other firms simply move headquarters to a more tax-friendly jurisdiction.

Costa Ricans only have to go to nearby Panamá, although officials there have promised changes in the law after the disclosures stolen from a law firm showed heavy use of offshore accounts.

More than 2,000 U.S. citizens surrender their nationality each year to avoid the country’s tax code, although there can be a big financial penalty.

Offshore accounts at least are a counter weight to national legislatures enacting higher tax rates.

David Cameron, the British prime minister, was among those found to have power over an offshore account.

The finance ministry’s narrow view of how individuals and firms should avoid taxation shows up in the traditional Costa Rican policy of decreeing that many tax payments cannot be applied as tax deductions.

The government’s hopes for quick passage of its tax package have been dashed with the reappointment of Rosibel Ramos Madrigal as head of the legislature’s Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Hacendarios. She was less than enthusiastic last year in advancing the government’s proposal out of committee.




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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 98
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Unique study of elderly health discounts age as a major factor
By the University of Chicago news staff

Age plays almost no role in accounting for differences in older people’s health and well-being, according to a large-scale study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Chicago.

Using what they call a comprehensive model of health and aging, the team has shown how other factors such as psychological well-being, sensory function, mobility and health behaviors are essential parts of an overall health profile that better predicts mortality. The research presents a sharp departure from the traditional biomedical model’s reliance on a checklist of infirmities centered on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

“The new comprehensive model of health identifies constellations of health completely hidden by the medical model and reclassifies about half of the people seen as healthy as having significant vulnerabilities that affect the chances that they may die or become incapacitated within five years,” said Martha McClintock, a biopsychologist and lead author of the article in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“At the same time, some people with chronic disease are revealed as having many strengths that lead to their reclassification as quite healthy, with low risks of death and incapacity,” added Linda Waite, a demographer and study co-author.

The study, part of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, is a major longitudinal survey of a representative sample of 3,000 people aged 57 to 85 done by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.

The study, the first of its kind to collect this sort of information from a scientifically selected group of people, yielded comprehensive new data about the experience of aging in America. In addition to finding that age plays little or no role in determining differences in health, the research found that:

* Cancer itself is not related to other conditions that undermine health.

* Poor mental health, which afflicts one in eight older adults, undermines health in ways not previously recognized.

* Obesity seems to pose little risk to older adults with excellent physical and mental health. 

* Sensory function and social participation play critical roles in sustaining or undermining health.

* Breaking a bone after age 45 is a major marker for future health issues.

* Older men and women have different patterns of health and well-being during aging.

* Mobility is one of the best markers of well-being.

The comprehensive model reflects a definition of health long advanced, but little studied, by the World Health Organization, which considers health to include psychological, social and physical factors in addition to the diseases that are the basis for the current medical model of health.

The comprehensive model’s healthiest category represented 22 percent of older Americans. This group was typified by higher obesity and blood pressure, but had fewer organ system diseases, better mobility, sensory function and psychological health. They had the lowest prevalence of dying or becoming incapacitated (6 percent) five years into the study.

A second category had normal weight, low prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but had one minor disease such as thyroid disease, peptic ulcers or anemia and were twice as likely to have died or become incapacitated within five years. Two emerging vulnerable classes of health traits, completely overlooked by the medical model, included 28 percent of the older population. One group included people who had broken a bone after age 45. A second new class had mental health problems, in addition to poor sleep patterns, engaged in heavy drinking, had a poor sense of smell and walked slowly, all of which correlate with depression.

The most vulnerable older people were in two classes, one characterized by immobility and uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension. A majority of people in each of these categories were women, who tend to outlive men.

“From a health system perspective, a shift of attention is needed from disease-focused management, such as medications for hypertension or high cholesterol, to overall well-being across many areas,” said another researcher, William Dale.

“Instead of policies focused on reducing obesity as a much lamented health condition, greater support for reducing loneliness among isolated older adults or restoring sensory functions would be more effective in enhancing health and well-being in the older population,” said Edward O. Laumann, another colleague.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden
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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
9008-8/4/16

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
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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.

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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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House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email: organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
8959-5/8/12686

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Central
                                              Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.
8981-5/28/16

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8998-7/18/16




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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 98
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Axiom new ad

Olympic committee plans
to bar athletes over 2008 tests


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In a major crackdown of Olympic drug cheats, the International Olympic Commission announced that 31 athletes could be banned from this year's Olympic Games in Rio after a re-testing of their samples from the 2008 Olympic Games came back positive for banned substances.

The commission says it has begun disciplinary actions against the 31 athletes who come from 12 countries and competed in six sports in the Beijing Games.

The positive tests came amid a recent re-testing of 454 doping samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Commission officials say they are also awaiting results from re-testing of 250 samples from the 2012 Games in London.

The testing focused on athletes who could compete in August at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the commission said.

"All those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the Olympic Games," the commission said in a statement on its website.

The Olympic organization says it will also undertake a wider re-testing program of medalists from the Beijing and London games. Samples of athletes who could be awarded medals after the disqualification of others will also be re-tested.

The commission said it has also called on the World Anti-Doping Agency to launch a fully fledged investigation into allegations that drug testing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics was subverted by Russian officials.

"All these measures are a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win," said the commission president, Thomas Bach.

"The re-tests from Beijing and London and the measures we are taking following the worrying allegations against the laboratory in Sochi are another major step to protect the clean athletes, irrespective of any sport or any nation," he added.


Defense bill’s religion clause
causes intense House debate


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A prayer opens every day of business on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A military chaplain buys religious vestments from a federal contractor. A religious charity sets up a soup kitchen using government grant dollars.

Each one of these acts reflects the complex everyday interactions between the U.S. government and religious communities, balancing religious freedom with individual rights.

An amendment attached to the 2017 defense budget bill considered on the floor of the House this week has sparked heated debate about that balance, drawing supporters and opponents of the amendment into the country’s ongoing battle over gay, lesbian and transgender rights.

The Russell Amendment seeks clarification of an apparent conflict between the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which allows religious organizations exemptions based on their beliefs, and a 2014 executive order from President Obama ordering protections for gay, lesbian and transgender employees of federal contractors. The stakes for both sides in the conflict are high, religious organizations want to receive federal funding while maintaining their freedom of conscience. Lesbian, gay, transgender people see the religious exception as an excuse for discrimination.

Republicans and Democrats debating on the House floor Thursday spoke about the amendment as if viewing two completely different pieces of legislation.

“There is not one single thing in this thing that discriminates against anybody,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne, a Republican from Alabama. “There is not one single mention of LGBT.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, said, “We now call it religious liberty, the ability of a private contractor to fire someone or refuse to hire them, just because they’re gay or lesbian.”

Rep. Steve Russell, a Republican from Oklahoma, said his amendment builds on existing U.S. law to protect the First Amendment rights of religious organizations working with the government.

“We didn’t introduce any new law. We simply said that these religious groups, religious contractors and service providers, that they will not be prohibited in their charters from being considered for contracts,” Russell said.

Chad Pecknold, an associate professor at Catholic University who studies the intersection between culture and religion, said the amendment provides needed clarity.

“Since the executive order was so ambiguous in the religious liberty protections it provided, it seems to me that the Russell Amendment is just a common sense clarification to keep intact the religious liberty protections that were already enjoyed,” he said.

Pecknold said the amendment would help resolve everyday conflicts of conscience, such as military chaplains having to purchase materials from federal contractors who do not share their beliefs.

But opponents say the amendment would allow federal contractors to refuse employment of lesbians, gays and transgender persons in a move that amounts to taxpayer funded discrimination.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said last week the amendment would be “a license to discriminate against the LGBT community and I stand strongly with the president to stop that discrimination any way we can, and we shouldn’t be doing business with businesses that discriminate,” Smith said. 

“Congress owes it to LGBT workers and their families to ensure that they are equally protected by our laws and not singled out for mistreatment,” Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said in a statement on the amendment released late Tuesday.

“When Republicans in Congress take actions that signal otherwise, it emboldens those who would bully, harass and discriminate,” Hoyer said.

The use of taxpayer dollars as directed in the Russell amendment is important, says Matthew Bulger, legislative associate for the American Humanist Association. A lesbian or gay person pays money into the government system that eventually could pay out their money in the form of a grant to a religious organization that could then turn around and legally discriminate against them.

Private organizations are free to do what they want with their money, but the use of taxpayer dollars takes the debate to a different level.

Bulger used the example of a religiously run soup kitchen that receives federal grant money. The soup kitchen cannot legally turn away a lesbian or gay person from using their services but it could refuse to hire them.

“They’re taking taxpayer money, using it to discriminate against those taxpayers and then claiming that the government is infringing upon their rights to discriminate against private citizens,” said Bulger.

The American Humanist Association joined with many religious organizations that believe the Russell Amendment would cheapen the important public service work they perform, bringing politics into an entirely new realm of American life.

“We want to make sure that Americans are able to practice their faith, but we also want to make sure that Americans aren’t being discriminated against with government backing,” said Bulger.

Rep. Russell disputed the taxpayer argument.

“That’s like saying the U.S. chaplain of the House of Representatives doesn’t have the right to open a session in prayer because his salary depends on taxpayer funding. That’s like saying to the military, you can’t have chaplains because they draw a military salary. It’s just absurd,” he said.

The Russell amendment could have implications beyond the debate between religious freedom supporters and advocates for lesbian, gay and transgender rights by stopping the entire 2017 defense spending bill at the president’s desk.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest would not say Tuesday if the presence of the Russell amendment in the bill would trigger a veto, adding that the president had a number of concerns about the defense spending bill and that “he has been forceful in using his executive authority to prevent discrimination.”


White women’s statistics
show drop in age at death


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

White women in the United States are dying too soon.

That is the simplest way of stating a problem that has become apparent over the past year through statistical analysis. Studies of death rates around the country carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics show that life expectancy for every demographic group has either gone up or remained stable, except for that of white women for whom life expectancy has gone down.

The decrease is not very large: The mortality rate for white women in 2013 was 81.2 years and the rate for that same group in 2014 was 81.1 years, a decrease of one-tenth of a percentage point. Health care researchers, like Jarron Saint Onge at the University of Kansas, however, are concerned.

“As things get better, in a sense, as our life gets easier, our jobs become less dangerous, we would expect that life expectancy continues to go up,” said Saint Onge. “When you see life expectancy all of a sudden flatline or not increasing, especially as we see a decline in our smoking rate, it is cause for alarm.”

The other problem is that if the trend continues, it could produce an even wider gap between white women and other demographic groups. For example, life expectancy among black people, while still lower than that of whites overall by a few percentage points, is higher than it was several years ago, and it continues to rise.

Hispanics have higher life expectancies than blacks or whites, even though a large percentage of that group earn low incomes and lack health insurance. Researchers think that may be due to strong community support, close families and a much lower rate of smoking among Hispanics.

Saint Onge found that the rise in premature deaths is more pronounced among white women in rural areas, and smaller cities and towns in southern states. Mental illness, alcohol abuse and drug addiction all have increased in those areas, as well, and many specific deaths can be linked to these problems.

“We need to back up a little more and look at why we are seeing these upticks in substance abuse,” said Saint Onge. “Is it a lack of mental health services? Or is it a lack of economic opportunities or educational opportunities?”

There also has been a slight increase in suicides in some of these areas, along with deaths from such things as heart disease and liver failure. John O’Neill, director of Addiction Services at the world-renowned Menninger Clinic in Houston, said drug and alcohol abuse could be the underlying problem.

“We know that people who struggle with substance use are going to have more medical problems, we know that there are more motor vehicle accidents, we know that there is more crime, there is more domestic violence, more sexual assaults,” he said.


Now it’s Democratic Party
that faces internal tensions


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It wasn't that long ago that the political rise of billionaire Donald Trump prompted predictions of a Republican Party implosion. Certainly the party of Lincoln and Reagan would not hand over the reins of leadership to a former reality TV star with a penchant for self-promotion and social media insults?

Well, the Republicans seem to be moving past their crisis point. But in an unexpected twist, it's now the Democratic Party that is being forced to come to grips with the fallout from a divisive primary battle.  And how the party deals with these tensions could go a long way toward determining whether Democrats will be able to hold the presidency for a third consecutive term beginning in 2017.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary, even as rival Bernie Sanders continued his winning ways with a victory in Oregon.

Mrs. Clinton remains on track to clinch the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, perhaps as early as June 7. But Sanders has given no sign of giving up, and tensions between the two campaigns are on the rise, raising fears among some Democrats that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Mrs. Clinton and Sanders effectively split the delegate count from the contests in Kentucky and Oregon, and that did little to change the overall trajectory of the race. Mrs. Clinton leads Sanders in the delegate count by a wide enough margin that the only way the Vermont senator could catch her is by winning the remaining primaries by huge margins, and by forcing defections of super-delegates who currently support Mrs. Clinton. Both are far-fetched at this point.

But Sanders made it clear at a rally Tuesday night in Carson, California, that he is not giving up.

"It will be a steep climb. I recognize that,” he said. “But we have the possibility of going to Philadelphia with a majority of the pledged delegates."

Sanders also said the Democratic Party needs to be more welcoming to his supporters who "are prepared to fight for real economic and social change." And he warned that it would be a very sad and tragic option for the party to maintain the status quo.

Tensions between the two campaigns were on display at a recent Democratic state convention in Nevada when Sanders supporters vented their frustration at party officials over the process of selecting delegates to attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

Some Sanders activists threw chairs, and later some threats were made toward the state party chairwoman, Roberta Lange.

Some Democrats worry the simmering tensions over the primary battle could lead to problems at the July convention.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid urged Sanders to show leadership in calming his supporters.

Sanders issued a statement that condemned all forms of violence, but noted that there have been no incidents at his rallies around the country.

In her recent campaign rallies, Mrs. Clinton has been eager to turn her focus to Trump.

"He can say whatever he wants to say about me personally,” she told supporters in Kentucky. “I will stand up and fight for and speak out for every American that he attacks and he insults!"

But Sanders' ability to draw large crowds of intense supporters and win primaries acts as a brake on Mrs. Clinton's efforts to move past the divisive primary campaign and shift her focus to Trump.

Sanders' success in later primaries has historical precedent, according to analyst William Galston at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

"Late victories by the losers are not at all unusual. We saw much the same thing, actually, in 1992 when Bill Clinton was vying for and ultimately claiming the Democratic Party nomination," Galston said.

He added that the current Democratic fissures pale in comparison with the first election he followed closely: the 1968 campaign when the Democratic Party came apart at the seams.

Sanders' continued success in the primaries and his ability to draw supporters could give him valuable political leverage at the national convention in Philadelphia.

"His goal at this point is obviously to influence the platform, influence Hillary Clinton and try to continue to keep her to the left," said Roll Call Editor Melinda Henneberger.

But eventually, Galston predicts, Sanders will have to take steps to unify the party behind Mrs. Clinton to take on Trump.

"She has some work to do, but so does Senator Sanders,” he said. “And I would say that the principal responsibility for bringing his supporters on board rests with him, not her."

At times, Sanders has indicated he would be willing to do so.

"While we may have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one area we agree, and that is we must defeat Donald Trump!" Sanders told supporters during a recent rally in Oregon.

In the end, despite the recent acrimony, many analysts expect that Democrats will be able to work out their differences and unite behind Clinton during and after the convention.


Democratic senators hold
mock hearing on Garland

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Senate Democrats sought to highlight the qualifications of President Barack Obama’s stymied Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, in a mock hearing that drew scorn from Republicans and conservative groups.
 
For more than an hour Wednesday, high-profile colleagues and friends of the nominee extolled Garland’s virtues in unofficial testimony before Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee.
 
“Merrick is calm under pressure,” said former U.S. attorney Donna Bucella, who worked with Garland to investigate the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. “And he’s always 25 steps ahead of everybody else.”

Under normal circumstances, Garland himself would testify at confirmation hearings by the full Senate committee. But the chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, has refused to consider his nomination, joining other Republicans who insist that the Supreme Court vacancy be filled by Obama’s successor next year.

For more than two months, Democrats have protested and pressured Republicans to relent to no avail. Wednesday’s mock event drew plenty of media coverage, but even its organizers admitted that it lacked the impact of a genuine confirmation hearing.
 
“This hearing is no substitute for the real thing,” lamented Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a Democrat.
 
Republicans scoffed at the event before it began.
 
“It seems the more we hear from Democrats about the Supreme Court, the more we are reminded of how reasonable and common sense the Republican position is today,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the conservative group Concerned Women for America said, “It’s sort of sad to see what Senate Democrats have been reduced to . . . it should be called a mockery hearing.”

But the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, insisted there is value in publicizing Garland’s qualifications and strengths, given that he has had to remain silent in the face of attacks by right-wing groups opposed to his nomination.
 
“I’ve known him [Garland] for a very long time,” Leahy said. “I get frustrated when I hear lobbying groups lobbing attacks against him. Of course, he can’t respond to those. If he had a hearing, he could . . . swat them down.”
 
Among those speaking on Garland’s behalf was former federal judge Timothy Lewis, who was nominated by President George H. W. Bush in the early 1990s and confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Senate. Lewis bemoaned the hyper-partisanship surrounding judicial confirmations.
 
“There was a culture of bipartisanship that is severely lacking today,” Lewis said. “The United States Supreme Court should never be viewed as a political arm, an ideological arm, of any political party . . . I believe the Supreme Court must remain above the fray, because it is a symbol of our greatest aspirations as a society.”
 
The Supreme Court has operated with eight justices since the death of arch conservative Antonin Scalia in February.


Obama decrees overtime
for management workers


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama extended overtime pay benefits Wednesday for 4.2 million American workers, an attempt to increase the paychecks for employees who often work long hours without getting any extra money.

Obama’s order doubles the pay threshold at which U.S. companies have to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours a week, from $23,660 to nearly $47,500.

Obama's directive could especially affect workers in fast food restaurants and retail stores, where employees who supervise other workers are often called managers, even if their salaries barely exceed that of their subordinates.

"If you work more than 40 hours a week, you should get paid for it or get extra time off to spend with your family and loved ones," Obama said. "It's one of the most important steps we're taking to help grow middle-class wages."

The White House estimated that the order could annually put $1.2 billion a year into the pockets of workers over the next decade.

But whether that actually occurs is unclear.

The National Retail Federation, a lobbying group for stores across the country, said the Obama order could force businesses to cut the working hours for some employees to 40 hours a week so they would not be required to make overtime payments, which in the U.S. is one and a half times the normal pay rate for the first 40 hours of work each week. If that happens, workers would spend less time on the job, but not result in them getting any more money.

The White House said that under the old threshold, only 7 percent of U.S. workers qualified for overtime, a figure that will increase to 35 percent when the overtime requirement takes effect on Dec. 1.


U.S. Military is preparing
to support some in Libya

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. military is prepared to support a train-and-equip mission to fight the thousands of Islamic State militants in Libya when the Libyan government is ready for it, the head of U.S. Africa Command said Tuesday.

The commander, Gen. David Rodriguez, added that Libya's internal politics have made it unclear which armed groups are fighting alongside the Libyan Government of National Accord, leaving the U.S. really dependent on the Libyan interim government to determine who is with them and who is moving over to them.

Militias will likely be key to stopping the spread of Islamic State once friendly forces are identified and aided he said, but, "We're not at that point yet."

Libya is under a U.N. arms embargo, imposed to keep lethal weapons away from terrorists and militias vying for power.

However, a joint communique issued after international talks Monday in Vienna said that international powers, including the U.S., are set to provide arms and support to the Libyan government to fight the Islamic State.

"The thing that they need most is really ammunition and small arms," Rodriguez said. "It's not fighter aircraft and that kind of stuff."


Real estate-related services (paid category)

SellATimeshare.com
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Re-Max
If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
8927-1/28/17

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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8906-2/21/16


Rich Coast
                                  Rollover
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
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8953-8/29/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Excazu
                                  condo
House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email:  visoer1937@gmail.com or oervis@hotmail.com
9011-8/11/16

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
9010-6/10/16

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

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email: jsaba00@hotmail.com.
8997-6/22/16
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: grantchy@yahoo.com For more photos and info click HERE!
8996-7/20/16

anothiner

Grecia
                                  rollover
UNIQUE OFFER !!!!
Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
FINANCING AVAILABLE !!!
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173
Email:

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016
Email:

Lantz
                                      home
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

8972-6/15/16

San Rmon
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Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8962-6/3/16

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/

updated
                                  photo
Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or goodbuyflorida@yahoo.com.
8933-5/2/16

Cohen
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8916-7/22/16

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8897-3/2/15

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

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

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 98
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Venezuelans take to streets over recall

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Opposition leaders and frustrated Venezuelans took to the streets in Caracas Wednesday to march to the national election board's headquarters and demand a recall referendum to end President Nicolas Maduro's socialist rule.

But police and national guard soldiers blocked the square where protesters planned to meet and fired tear gas at them, witnesses said.

"We're tired of this corruption. We're tired of the queues. We're tired that everyday they smack us in the face with this supposed economic war," protester Carlos Rodríguez said in Spanish.

Officers with shields, helmets and bulletproof jackets blocked the riot that involved thousands of people.

"Recall! Recall! Maduro Out!" protesters chanted while holding the Venezuelan flag or anti-government signs.

Maduro gave himself decree powers for 60 days due to what he calls a plot from some Venezuelans and the United States to subvert him.

Henrique Capriles, two-time presidential candidate, and Henry Ramos Allup, speaker of the opposition-controlled parliament, led the protests. The opposition believes Maduro's measure shows his government is panicking.

"We're talking about a desperate president who is putting himself on the margin of legality and constitutionality," said Democratic Unity coalition leader Jesus Torrealba.

National polls show nearly 70 percent of Venezuelans now believe Maduro must go this year. But ruling Socialist Party officials said there is no time to organize a referendum this year.

"Of course we are going to continue on the street until we get freedom in Venezuela and we get this country on the path to progress," Javier Lopez, another protester, said in Spanish.

According to reports, opposition leaders said authorities are trying to delay a referendum until 2017 when the presidency would fall to the vice president, a post currently held by Socialist Party loyalist Aristóbulo Istúriz. But Maduro has vowed to see his term through.

The Venezuelan president, a former union leader and bus driver who narrowly won election to replace the late Hugo Chávez, accused the opposition coalition of seeking a coup with the help of the United States.

At a rally last Saturday, Maduro said troublemakers were fomenting violence to justify a foreign invasion.

"We're going to tell imperialism and the international right that the people are present, with their farm instruments in one hand and a gun in the other  . . . to defend this sacred land," Maduro said.

Venezuela, according to Capriles, is a time bomb that can explode at any given moment.

Opposition won control of the National Assembly in a December election driven by anger over product shortages, inflation and rampant violent crime. But the country's Supreme Court prevents congress from passing any legislation.

"If you block this democratic path, we don't know what might happen in this country," Capriles said at the demonstration.

In a related development, the secretary general of the Organization of Aemrican States sent a very undiplomatic message to Maduro.

The author, Luis Almagro, denied allegations by Maduro that he was an agent for the U.S. Central Inteligence Agency. And Almagro denied being a traitor. The traitor is Maduro, he said, saying that the Venezuelan president was circumventing the will of the people on which all power rests.


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From Page 7:


Cooperative will market wares at airport

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government is setting up a retail outlet at Juan Santamaría airport for some 42 small business operators who make mostly handicrafts.

Those involved have completed a training course. They are mainly female heads of households who are involved with the Insituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, the country’s main antipoverty agency.

The government orchestrated the creation in December of  Coopemipymes RL, a cooperative that will handle the airport business.  The Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social invested 50 million colons into the project, some $94,400.

The goal is to market authentic Costa Rican products to the air travelers who pass through the airport.

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the Instituto Nacional de Fomento Cooperativo and the Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social participated in the training and planning.