Little Drama For United States In Friday’s World Cup Qualifier … But Would You Look At Mexico!

Avi Israel

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. His advocacy helped lead to New York lawmakers unanimously passing the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing law, or “I-STOP,” which went into effect in August. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012 called prescription drug abuse the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Between 1999 and 2009, the number of deaths nationwide from opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone nearly quadrupled, and such overdoses cause more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Avi Israel signs a pledge board for a campaign to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse Oct. 9 in Buffalo. His son committed suicide in 2011 while addicted to pain pills. (Photo: Don Heupel for USA TODAY) A growing number of states are trying to crack down on the problem: Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley in August signed into law a trio of bills giving more medical personnel, as well as the Alabama Medicaid Agency, access to the state’s prescription monitoring program database; tightening the regulations on pain management clinics; and making “doctor shopping” to get multiple prescriptions a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Indiana earlier this year gave the state attorney general new oversight powers on pain management clinics and is moving toward mandatory annual drug screenings of people prescribed opioids to ensure they’re taking the drugs as prescribed. Kentucky in 2012 began requiring the licensing of pain clinics, giving law enforcement officials greater access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database and mandating that doctors examine patients and check electronic prescription records before writing prescriptions for opioids.

The United States is still getting rid of its chemical weapons

They could miss the World Cup for the first time since 1990 (when player eligibility shenanigans saw Mexico booted from World Cup qualifying efforts). Its not going to be easy. Panama hasnt been what we all thought in the final round. But any team with real defensive commitment (check) and a determined, talented, bulldog of a goal scorer (check Blas Perez) has a chance. The Panamanians most definitely have a chance to navigate a draw, and then go hunting for the final, telling points in the finale in Central America against the United States. (Make that, injured and potentially less motivated United States.) (MORE: Why you might WANT Mexico at the World Cup) Panama will certainly dig in Friday at Estadio Azteca, looking to create through Perez on the counter and on restarts, and they will be awfully tough to beat. Veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa says it can be done, noting a freshness and a new vibe thanks to the recent managerial comeuppance. Here is his interview with FIFA.com . To get you further up to speed on the Mexican pinch should we coin something like the Mexican Mess? Or perhaps go with El Tri Trauma? Gee, this is rather fun, isnt it? here is Kyle McCarthys swell analysis on the roster choices ahead for the qualifiers Friday and then next week at Costa Rica. (MORE: The tantalizing scenario developing between U.S., Mexico) Remember, by the way, Mexico is probably targeting noting better than fourth place; the United States and Costa Rica have qualified, and Honduras has a much better pathway to the third and final automatic berth for Brazil out of CONCACAF. That leaves Mexico and Panama to fight it out for fourth and the playoff series with New Zealand in November. I still contend that the World Cup is better with Mexico in it.

In fact, neither has Russia. Both Washington and Moscow signed the Chemical Weapons Convention of the 1990s, which forbid the use, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. And both countries missed the convention’s extended deadline last year to destroy all of their chemical weapons. This fact was highlighted during Friday’s ceremony awarding the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , which is helping to eliminate the Syrian army’s stockpiles of poison gas. “Certain states have not observed the deadline, which was April 2012, for destroying their chemical weapons,” the Nobel committee noted in its official announcement of the coveted peace prize. “This applies especially to the USA and Russia.” The United States estimates it will be at least another decade before it completes destruction of the remaining 10% of its chemical weapons, estimated at more than 3,100 tons. Russia has more than five times that amount left to destroy, according to the OPCW. While it’s unclear exactly how many chemical weapons Syria has, U.S. intelligence and other estimates put its chemical weapons stockpile at about 1,000 tons stored in dozens of sites. Syria’s chemical arsenal at a glance The storage igloos at the Utah depot where munitions were stored and the destruction facility, in the background. The United Nations has given Syria until mid-2014 to destroy that arsenal and U.N. weapons inspectors have expressed optimism that this deadline can be reached , despite having to dart in and out of battle zones amid Syria’s bloody civil war. Wade Mathews, who once worked on the U.S. project to destroy its chemical stockpile, isn’t so sure that Syria can meet that deadline.