Julio Dely Valdes’ charges trail fourth-place Mexico by three points, meaning they have to beat the USA and hope Mexico lose away to Costa Rica. That scenario appears unlikely, with Mexico still harbouring hopes of an automatic qualification berth from the CONCACAF section. But with the United States already confirming their place in Brazil next year, Panama will be confident of an upset against Jurgen Klinsmann’s outfit. If Panama are to secure an improbable intercontinental play-off with New Zealand they will have to arrest a run of four games without victory. That included a 1-0 defeat to the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in July, but they will be well backed by the Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez support. Panama’s hopes of a play-off spot were dealt a blow after they lost 2-1 to Mexico on Saturday. Luis Tejada had cancelled out Oribe Peralta’s opener, but with just five minutes remaining Raul Jimenez notched a crucial winner. The United States are already assured of their place as group winners, as they hold an unassailable lead over second-place Costa Rica. Klinsmann’s team have lost just twice in nine outings in the CONCACAF group, and their latest success came with a 2-0 home success over Jamaica on Friday. It took until the 77th minute to find the breakthrough as Graham Zusi netted before Jozy Altidore confirmed the win. Panama’s task is made even more daunting by the USA’s recent form. The United States have tasted defeat just once in 15 matches and head into the fixture in buoyant mood following Friday’s success.
The country stretches across six time zones, from the Atlantic well into the Pacific. The British settled some regions; the Dutch, Spanish and French settled some others. And we once fought a bloody Civil War, North against South, over the issue of slavery. And yet for more than a century, most regional rivalries in the United States have been over football games or who makes the best pizza. Americans can be born in New Jersey, move to California, then wind up in Florida or the other way around all the while retaining regional accents and tastes, but still living in one nation. British author Simon Winchester explores how this national unity came about in his new book, The Men Who United The States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible. In it, he depicts some of the men, the inventions and the enterprises from the transcontinental railroad to Morse code, from the Erie Canal to the Internet that helped make the United States whole. Winchester talks to NPR’s Scott Simon about the uniting influence of canals, roads and (our favorite) radio. Interview Highlights On how his perspective as an Englishman allows him to appreciate the United States’ unity I think our experience in Europe shows how very difficult it is for a polyglot peoples to be welded into one. … It is, to me, quite remarkable that a nation full of as many peoples and ethnic varieties and languages and religious affiliations can nonetheless call itself united. On the Chicago Sanitary District Canal, a unifying solution to a very messy problem Chicago is beguilingly close to the Mississippi River, so why not link the two? And there was an additional problem … all Chicago’s sewage and I don’t want to put people off their breakfasts here but all the sewage would sweep through central Chicago out into the lake. And of course, on a hot day, the effluent, it was a ghastly smell.
Is the United States a good investment?
Are the things that ail the American economy passing problems that make it easier to buy into the nations future growth at a discount? Or are they more fundamental problems that arent going away anytime soon? As Ezra Klein put it, is America a bubble? For investors, this is a practical question: How much of your portfolio should be invested in the shares of U.S. companies, and U.S. Treasury bonds, as opposed to overseas investment options? For all of us, its the core question that will determine whether Americas best days lie ahead. Here at the latest Wonkblog Crowdsourced discussion, leave your comment on whether America is a good investment despite it all. Come back early and often to upvote the comments you find most compelling. Is the United States a good investment? ???initialComments:true! pubdate:10/14/2013 12:09 EDT!