Paola Chacón Crowned Miss Costa Rica 2019 by Rico 7/21/19

Ecuador

At the Miss Costa Rica 2019 Coronation Gala, held at the Marco Picado Studio, at television channel 7, Monica Zamora and Brenda Muñoz took second and third place. Presenters of the even were Karina Ramos (Miss Costa Rica 2014), Natalia Carvajal (Miss Costa Rica 2018) and Walter Campos, journalist and television personality. Also competing for the title were, Evelyn Sibaja, Johanna Quesada, Axa Pineda, Chonta Mullins, Catalina Freer and Amanda Agüero.

The judges were Luis Kaver, Carolina Rodríguez, Mario Montenegro and Ana Gutiérrez. The new Miss Costa Rica will also take home a new, three million colones in cash, a weekend on the beach for two people all included, a collection of Daniel del Barco shoes and Coral Boutique clothing, Kryoland brand makeup, a year of salon and spa in Image Design, H5 products for hair, clothing and exclusive designer accessories and, of course, a ticket to the Miss Universe.

Erdoğan’s control over Turkey is ending – what comes next? By Gary M. Grossman for The Conversation 7/20/19

Turkey

Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party. REUTERS/Kemal Aslan

When Turkey’s currency, the lira, dropped by 20% last year, the slide risked a global crisis. Turkey is also an important NATO ally, allowing its land and air bases to be used for the alliance’s military operations into places such as neighboring Syria and Iraq. The new political power struggle could spark a resurgent democracy in Turkey. The opposition against AKP could unify nationally. But the struggle also has the potential to create cascading financial and political crises. This is what is at stake.

The Republican People’s Party, or CHP, is Turkey’s oldest political party, formed after the Turkish revolution of 1923. In Istanbul’s most recent election, Erdoğan’s hand-picked candidate for the mayor, former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, lost to CHP’s candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu. İmamoğlu is 16 years Erdoğan’s junior and had held the unassuming position of mayor of Beylikdüzü, a district of Istanbul.

Istanbul, a city of 16 million people, accounts for one-third of Turkey’s gross domestic product and is larger than many national economies. Whoever controls Istanbul’s massive municipal budget also controls its patronage. Erdoğan called the results of the first election, held in March, “blemished.” He asked his hand-picked High Election Council to investigate. That election was then annulled and a new election was held June 23. In the rematch, the usually fractious opposition to the AKP unified behind İmamoğlu, mounting a serious challenge to the AKP’s power in its largest base of support. İmamoğlu’s campaign insisted that the first election was legitimate. Nevertheless, he ran a second time and his second victory was a landslide, with a margin of 800,000 votes compared to a 13,500 difference in the March contest.

Mexican president López Obrador has a woman problem by Luis Gómez Romero and María de la Macarena Iribarne González for the Conversation 13 July 2019

Sustainable Development

Photo Credit: Reuters/Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Women in the workplace

Under austerity measures meant to curb public spending, López Obrador in February ended an internationally lauded daycare program that allowed low-income families to sign up for government-subsidized childcare close to their workplace or home. Rather than pay subsidies to this network of private daycare facilities, the Mexican government will now give vouchers worth about US$80 every two months directly to families.

The new policy will give parents more choice in their childcare, the Mexican government says. Each family may now decide whether to send their children to daycare or pay “a sister, an aunt or a grandma,” López Obrador said in a Feb. 7 press conference. López Obrador, who remains popular six months into his six-year term, additionally explained his decision to end government-subsidized daycare by saying the program was corrupt.

Lopez Obrador blamed these problems on corruption among government and private-sector middlemen, who pocketed cash meant to serve children. He says that by removing the intermediaries to give money directly to families, the opportunity for corruption is eliminated. Public corruption is rampant in Mexico. But there’s no evidence that the childcare program suffered particularly from abuse of public funds. In fact, Mexico’s subsidized childcare network, which has served 2 million children since it was established in 2007, has been quite successful in enabling more women to work outside the home.


Haiti 2, Costa Rica 1 in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Match Recap by Dylan Butler 6/26/2019

Brooklyn Film Festival

After Haiti had a penalty shout waved away by referee Ismail Elfath in the 41st minute, Les Grenadiers were awarded a spot kick in the 56th minute when Chicago Fire defender Francisco Calvo barged over Duckens Nazon inside the top edge of the 18-yard box. Nazon clinically buried his penalty into the corner of the net, as the large Haitian crowd exploded.

Needing a win to top the group, Haiti pressed the issue and had the Costa Rican defense on its heels for much of the second half. The Ticos finally cracked in the 81st minute when Matarrita couldn’t manage a low cross from Alex Christian and the ball went off the NYCFC defender’s foot to Alexis, who atoned for his own goal by firing the winner under the crossbar.


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