first_imgIn her annual State of the Nation speech before members of the Legislative Assembly Wednesday night, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla pushed forward the message that despite overwhelming public disapproval of her administration, her government has had achieved several major accomplishments. Yet in a tone that has become common for the unpopular president of the dominating National Liberation Party – which earlier in the day secured the presidency of the Assembly in an annual May Day vote by lawmakers – Chinchilla acknowledged that “there is still a lot of work to do and challenges that we have not been able not overcome.”Speaking to lawmakers, Cabinet members and invited dignitaries for 75 minutes, Chinchilla admitted her administration still faces high rates of unemployment and poverty, and officials have been unsuccessful at reducing a social-economic gap among citizens.Chinchilla, who took office in 2010 as Costa Rica’s first woman to hold the presidency, also cited progress, including 5 percent growth in the national economy, “the highest in the last 15 years,” as well as a drop in interest rates and the blockage of short-term investments that threatened the country’s economic balance.She highlighted an earlier and successful issuance of Eurobonds that helped reduce the country’s staggering fiscal deficit, which last year topped $2 billion, or 4.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The speech also addressed foreign trade by highlighting an increase of 10 percent in exports and positive performance by companies, which helped Costa Rica surpass by $200 million a $2 billion annual export goal. That positive news came mostly because of high-technology and free-zone companies.On social development, Chinchilla said the most notable accomplishments include poverty rates that leveled off for the first time in five years and actually began decreasing (by 1 percent). She also highlighted the success of one of her flag projects: a national daycare program that increased coverage by 75 percent, with 79,000 new children added. Public security was another of the president’s main focuses. The president, who campaigned on the issue in 2010, reported a decrease of nearly 50 percent in homicides in 2012, of 15 percent for car theft, and 10.6 percent for home invasions. She said “local police forces were able to disrupt some 350 criminal organizations.”As for what is missing, Chinchilla said three factors are preventing her administration from moving forward: “First, our democratic system is not responding to the timing and quality demanded by our citizens,” she said.She cited limited management and technical skills in most public institutions, as well as a complicated system of rules that encourage paralysis in public administration.A second problem is caused by an incapacity for dialogue and the polarization of public debate, the president said. “The prevalence of antagonistic interests and the radicalization of positions hinders the necessary negotiation process for democracy to move forward,” she stated.Finally, the president refered to “despicable acts of corruption in public administration that have been generating a deep distrust of politics” referring probably to scandals such as the construcion of a road along the border with Nicaragua, that ended with the dismissal of several officials.Chinchilla ended her speech by asking lawmakers to increase dialogue in order to expedite bills in the Assembly, proposed government programs and public works projects. Those stalled bills include reform on in vitro fertilization – which Costa Rica must implement following a recent Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling – and granting same-sex couples equal rights under the law.The president asked opposition parties to exercise “the unavoidable task of political control, which is essential yet taxing, and something with which the government is obliged to comply.”“My government does not ask for less, and expects no less,” Chinchilla said. No related posts. Facebook Commentscenter_img Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla delivers the annual State of the Nation address on Wednesday to lawmakers, administration officials, dignitaries and other invited guests at the Legislative Assembly in San José. Courtesy of Luis Navarro/La Naciónlast_img

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first_imgThe Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating after a decomposed body was found  in Loxahatchee on Friday.According to the report, the body was located around 12:30 pm in by workers in area of E. Brighton Drive, just east of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road.Authorities have not released to identity or the gender of the person at this time, however, they did report that the death is considered suspicious and that PBSO’s Violent Crimes Division has joined the investigation.Officials also reported that they do not have any information on the person or a motive in this case.If you believe you have any information regarding this case, you are asked to Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS.last_img

first_img Cheshire’s Cath Rawthore snatched a dramatic victory in the English senior women’s championship, capturing the title on the 21st hole of the final at Ross-on-Wye Golf Club.It was the only time she was ahead in the match against Yorkshire’s Karen Jobling – and she had fought back from being two down after 16 holes.“I never say die,” she remarked afterwards. “I always go for it, never give in and scramble, scramble, scramble. Sometimes it’s not pretty but it’s what I do.”Rawthore, an England senior international from Sale Golf Club, holed good putts on both 17 and 18th to get back to all square and head down the 19th, which both players birdied.On the 20th Rawthore had a chance to win, but took three puts from above the hole. The match ended on the 21st when Jobling’s ball went through the green into a near impossible lie, while Rawthore had a birdie opportunity.“It was a sad way to finish the match,” said Rawthore. “Karen had played tremendous golf, every time I thought I played a good shot she put it inside me. It was such hard work mentally, but very exciting and I am absolutely thrilled.”The high-quality match was played before a good crowd of spectators and Rawthore added: “I’m so glad we gave them a good final to watch.”She adds this win to her previous successes in the English senior stroke play and the British senior championship. She has also helped England seniors to European and Home International victories.In the semi-finals Rawthore beat Jo Shorrocks (Bigbury) 2/1; Jobling (Richmond) beat Jackie Foster (Bishop’s Stortford) 3/2.The Flight Two stroke play was won by Joanna Galway of Pycombe Golf Club, Sussex.Click here for full scoresImage © Leaderboard Photography 13 May 2016 Cath Rawthore snatches dramatic victory last_img

first_imgby Stampp CorbinSan Diego — The recent “scandal” concerning NFL football player, Kerry Rhodes, has many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on high alert. Rhodes, an NFL player who is currently a free agent, has been “outed” by a reputed lover Russell “Hollywood” Simpson.Simpson was motivated by Rhodes denial that he was gay in an interview. Simpson provided photographs of the two them that are considered intimate accounts of their life together. One photo shows Rhodes kissing Simpson on the side of his head. Simpson also provided intimate text messages.This is only considered a “scandal” because the object of Rhodes affection is a man. We don’t know whether Rhodes is bisexual, gay or simply a young man experimenting, but does it matter? It should not.Rhodes is an excellent ball player who was predicted to be picked up by an NFL team by next month. Some are speculating that this will hurt Rhode’s chances of getting a new NFL home. Really?The NFL has harbored wife beaters, drug addicts, drunks and even those accused of murder. Why would Rhodes sexual orientation be considered a negative when these other issues are readily ignored or defended? Rampant homophobia.As this story takes hold, I am sure we will hear players or owners talking about locker rooms and the close quarters that players share. Guess what, Kerry Rhodes has been in those environments since 2005 and nothing happened. The only difference is that Rhodes would now be open about his sexuality, whatever that is.This is the perfect opportunity for the NFL to illustrate that they have moved beyond their traditionally homophobic culture. It has been rumored for months that four current NFL players were planning to “come out” together. How the NFL treats the Rhodes situation may negatively imbue the reputed players’ decision to come out.No one wants to lose their economic livelihood. If having a gay relationship ends Rhodes career, then at the end of the day no other players will come out. The question is simply “I am I willing to give up millions of dollars a year to be able to be true to myself at work.” Unfortunately, many LGBT people answer a similar question to a certain extent every day. Their answer is often “no.” I am not willing to risk my economic security to be openly LGBT.This is why the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is so important. It will prevent employers from firing employees because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. Coupled with the sexual harassment laws, LGBT people will be protected in the workplace.I hope the NFL knows that the LGBT community, and beyond, are watching closely how they handle Kerry Rhodes. Will Rhodes continue to be recruited by teams and his reputed sexual orientation have no affect on his ability to continue his job in the NFL?NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the world will be watching.Reprinted from San Diego LGBT Weekly KERRY RHODES (AP Photo)last_img

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