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Azkals near semis berth

first_imgWill you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? BACOLOD CITY—The latest in the long line of talents hailing from the country’s football hotbed, Barotac Nuevo, delivered a goal that could prove crucial to the Philippines’ hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup.On a rainy Wednesday night at Panaad Stadium, Jovin Bedic came off the bench to rifle home the equalizer as the Azkals salvaged a 1-1 draw with Thailand to stay on track for a place in the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Bedic’s deflected effort in the 82nd minute cancelled out an earlier strike from Supachai Jaided as the Philippines remained level with Thailand with seven points in Group B. Another point against Indonesia in Jakarta on Sunday will be enough for the Philippines to reach the next round.The Azkals came into the match looking to end a 46-year winless spell against the Thais. And although they did not walk away with the maximum points, the battling performance was enough to impress coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissIn truth, the Azkals could have gotten more from the match had they been more clinical on goal as Phil Younghusband and Patrick Reichelt missed good chances in the first half.“First of all I think we played very well 90 minutes,” said Eriksson. “We were the better team out there. A draw is okay but we could have won the game. I think we did very well against a good team.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Eriksson believes this type of performance should put the Azkals in the semifinals.“If we play like this we should qualify for the semifinals,” said Eriksson. “I think this is a very good performance for us.”Meanwhile, team manager Dan Palami said the coaching staff would also be using the Suzuki Cup as a test for players who want to make the Asian Cup squad.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Cignal hopes to bounce back vs Smart Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View commentslast_img read more

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A look at Costa Ricas 2014 elections

first_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Andrés Madrigal/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Andrés Madrigral/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times (Courtesy of Casa Presidencial) Andrés Madrigal Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Timescenter_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Andrés Madrigal/The Tico Times Related posts:Guevara snubbed for Friday forum with leading union and other presidential candidates The Tico Times to publish live election results starting at 8 p.m. Live Costa Rica election results 14 photos from Costa Rica’s election nightlast_img read more

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Costa Rica not alone as it waits for a new US ambassador

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Costa Rica has been without a U.S. ambassador for a year and a half, but it doesn’t look like Stafford Fitzgerald Haney – whom President Barack Obamanominated for the job back in July – will be relocating to San José anytime soon.Haney isn’t alone. More than a quarter of the 169 countries where the United States has embassies, from Afghanistan to Malawi, are waiting for their designated ambassadors to arrive – a consequence not of federal budget cuts or foreign-policy debacles, but rather partisan feuding in Washington.Of the 55 State Department nominees currently pending confirmation by the slow-moving Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 30 are career diplomats and 25 are political appointees such as Haney.“The vast majority of these remaining nominees could be confirmed quickly en bloc,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at his agency’s Nov. 19 press briefing. “The Secretary [John F. Kerry] has always said there are great public servants up there in the Senate, and he knows that none of them want to see this gridlock continue at the expense of career Foreign Service professionals.” S. Fitzgerald Haney, President Obama’s pick for the next U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica. (Courtesy U.S. Embassy in San José)According to Rathke, nominees on the floor have waited 258 days – eight and a half months – on average.“It’s critical that we get these nominees confirmed before the Senate adjourns for the year to prevent further delay in meeting our foreign policy objectives,” he said. “We know that America is stronger if the backlog is cleared and our nominees are confirmed before Thanksgiving. The Secretary has made a personal plea to his former colleagues in the Senate, and we would ask again for their help.”Deputy Chief of Mission Gonzalo Gallegos has been running the U.S. Embassy in San José ever since the June 2013 departure of Ambassador Anne Slaughter Andrew. That embassy – which Andrew headed for three and a half years – is the largest foreign mission in Costa Rica, a monstrosity compared to Costa Rica’s Embassy in Washington, which has exactly eight staffers including Ambassador Román Macaya.“Mr. Haney will be very welcome in Costa Rica when he’s confirmed, and we hope that’s very soon,” Macaya told The Tico Times last Thursday. “He is one of many ambassadors that have not been able to go through the confirmation process.”But Haney may find himself at the back of the line – even though the international businessman speaks fluent Spanish (not to mention Portuguese and Hebrew) and has extensive experience in marketing, financial services and manufacturing throughout Latin America.“The Senate is trying to use the confirmation process to achieve other objectives,” said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, as quoted by the center’s website, ThinkProgress.org. “They might not be happy with things that the president is doing with Obamacare, for example, or immigration, or not raising the defense budget. So this is one way in which they can express their displeasure.”Haney, a black convert to Judaism, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, grew up in the Chicago area and has, among other things, a master’s in international business and diplomacy from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He’s worked in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil and Israel. Since 2007, Haney has been principal of New York-based Pzena Investment Management.Haney has served on the council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is an active member of Ayecha, a group that provides resources for Jews of color. He lives in Englewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Rabbi Andrea Haney. Costa Rican Ambassador Román Macaya presents his credentials to U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (Courtesy Casa Presidencial)Costa Rica is among more than a dozen countries to which political appointees have been nominated for ambassadorships but not confirmed. These include Argentina, Finland, Hungary, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.Historically, presidents have kept political appointments to a maximum 30 percent of the total, reserving the remaining 70 percent of slots for career diplomats. But according to Bob Silverman, president of the American Foreign Service Association, Obama has exceeded that ratio, with political appointees accounting for 35.2 percent of all nominees.So far in his second term, Obama has nominated 75 career diplomats and 53 political appointees to ambassadorships. That translates into 41 percent of the total, a ratio exceeded only by presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan – and leading to complaints that Obama is rewarding political donors with plum ambassadorships rather than assigning career diplomats to these often-sensitive posts.Yet Haney can hardly be considered a mega-donor in the traditional sense. Soap opera producer Colleen Bell, Obama’s pick for ambassador to Hungary, has raised $2.1 million for Obama and fellow Democrats, The New York Times recently reported. And political consultant Noah Mamet, who’s been nominated to be the next U.S. envoy to Argentina, raised $1.4 million.By comparison, Haney has donated a paltry $84,303 to Obama and other Democratic candidates since 2008, while his wife gave $192,252 to the president’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and $4,506 directly to Obama. Neither could be reached for comment for this story. Costa Rica’s Foreign Vice Minister Alejandro Solano, left, and U.S. Embassy chargé d’affaires Gonzalo Gallegos shake hands after a toast at the U.S. Embassy’s July 4 party at the Hotel Real InterContinental in Escazú. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesRead S. Fitzgerald Haney’s July 29 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee here“The slow crawl of Senate votes stems in part from acrimony over Republican objections to Obama’s nominations for all posts and the change of longstanding rules by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to make it easier to pass some nominations,” according to a recent story in The Washington Post.In protest, the newspaper reported, “Republicans are routinely refusing to give the unanimous consent required to proceed on quick confirmation votes. Without consent, it can take up to eight hours on the floor to confirm a single ambassador.”Korb told ThinkProgress.org that getting political appointments through the incoming Republican-majority Congress is going to be an uphill battle.“Basically, [it seems] like they’re not concerned about diplomatic relations,” he said of current lawmakers, warning that countries without a resident U.S. ambassador might conclude that Washington just doesn’t care about them.Yet Macaya said the Costa Rican government already has approved Haney, and he doesn’t expect the ambassador-designate to face any major issues.“Like any host country, Costa Rica wants to have the U.S. ambassador there. The embassy obviously operates without an ambassador because they have a deputy chief of mission, so it’s somewhat symbolic,” he explained. “But when ambassadors are political appointees, they tend to be the president’s man or woman in that host country, so they’re usually very close to the president. That allows for very fluid communications.”Macaya said he understands why Haney hasn’t been confirmed yet, but “that doesn’t mean we’re indifferent.”“Costa Rica has historically had very close ties with the United States. It’s not because of any specific treaty or agreement,” he said. “It’s because we believe in the same things: a strong democracy, human rights, liberties and the pursuit of happiness.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica to ‘take a hard look’ at its diplomatic missions, foreign minister says after meeting with US Secretary of State Kerry Panama’s US envoy offers upbeat economic outlook for 2015 US says next round of Cuba talks to take place in Havana on Monday PHOTOS: Cuba, US reopen embassies to end 54-year estrangementlast_img read more

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