- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

THRILLER FROM MANILA

The U.S. ambassador to the Philippines is excited about the upcoming boxing match between Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

Ambassador Kristie Kenney told reporter Leo Reyes of the Digital Journal that she is a fan of Mr. Pacquiao but readily admitted she knows little about the sport. Nevertheless she joins super developer Donald Trump and former heavyweight Mike Tyson in Mr. Pacquiao’s corner.

“Well you know it’s hard to say because I don’t known boxing as well as other people do,” she said when asked who she supports in the Nov. 24 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“I’m new to boxing, a new fan only because of Manny,” she said, referring to the Filipino pugilist.

The ambassador added that she is impressed by Mr. Pacquiao for reasons many boxing fans might not consider.

“He’s the thinking-man’s boxer,” she said. “He thinks about what his opponents are going to do. I was really struck every time I talk to him by how smart he is on the strategy.”

Digital Journal also found Mr. Trump and Mr. Tyson supporting Mr. Pacquiao in his bid to take Mr. Cotto’s World Boxing Organization’s welterweight crown.

‘CLOSED AMERICA’

Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer is promising to travel across America to tell citizens of small towns and big cities how the U.S. stimulus package could hurt U.S.-Canada trade and cost American jobs.

Mr. Doer, a former premier of Manitoba who has been ambassador here for about two weeks, knew that his most pressing priority was to try to minimize the impact of the “buy American” provisions in the $787 billion stimulus bill that requires recipients of the funds to purchase U.S. services or U.S.-made goods.

The ambassador this week traveled back to Manitoba to address the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce about his goal of traveling throughout the United States to make Americans understand that trade with Canada could affect their jobs, especially if Canada retaliates against the protectionist measure.

The United States and Canada have the world’s largest bilateral trade, with more than $1 billion in cross-border business a day.

“My view is it’s a lot of work,” Mr. Doer said. “”It’s very important to tie it back to where congressional people come from and what jobs in their district are tied to Canada. That’s the only way to make the case.”

He added that he hopes the “buy American” provisions do not lead to a “closed America” on trade.

Doctor for USAID

A 36-year-old physician who managed billions of dollars in charitable programs for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be nominated to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Dr. Rajiv Shah, now undersecretary for research, education and economics at the Agriculture Department, is the son of immigrants from India who grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The AP quoted unidentified sources as saying that Dr. Shah will be nominated to fill a post that has been vacant for 10 months. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shah will lead the U.S. foreign assistance program.

When he was with the Gates Foundation, he managed a $1.5 billion contribution for global vaccination and a $1.3 billion global development program.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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