UN chairs productive meeting with Israeli Lebanese forces

Security Council resolution 1701, which ended 34 days of fighting between Hizbollah and Israel in August, mandated a complete Israeli withdrawal together with Lebanese army deployment in southern Lebanon, and today’s meeting also discussed ways to speed up the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the northern part of Ghajar to positions south of the Blue Line.“The meeting was held in a constructive atmosphere. It was a productive meeting, and I look forward to the coordination arrangements contributing to an improved level of confidence on the ground,” said UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano after the discussions, which were held in the UN post at the border crossing of Ras Al Naqoura.Separately, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report to the Security Council on resolution 1701, which covers the past three months in the area, that UNIFIL now had over 12,430 troops from 29 contributing countries on the ground, out of a total of up to 15,000 mandated by the resolution.While reporting that the overall commitment by both the Israeli and Lebanese Governments to resolution 1701 “remains strong,” he points out the acute and continuing political crisis in Lebanon and mounting Israeli concerns about the unauthorized transfer of arms across the Lebanese-Syrian border.He also expresses concern that there has not been greater progress in resolving such issues as the captured Israeli soldiers and the Lebanese prisoners, the Shab’a Farms border situation and Israeli overflights. Mr. Ban further highlights the continuing danger posed to Lebanese citizens in the south by unexploded ordnance left over from last year’s conflict, particularly from the use by the Israelis of cluster bombs.“Challenging work remains ahead for the implementation of resolution 1701. Both parties could do more to further its implementation. Maintaining the momentum is the responsibility of the Lebanese, the Government of Israel, regional countries and other Member States,” he writes.“If there is no progress on core issues such as the prisoners, the Shab’a Farms area, Israeli overflights and enforcement of the arms embargo, progress on resolution 1701 will be severely tested in the months to come.” 21 March 2007The commander of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon today reached agreement with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officers on improved coordination, and also discussed the Blue Line that separates the two countries, while in New York a new United Nations report cautioned that much remains to be done to bring long-term stability to the area. read more

Journalist former ESPN host Jemele Hill has book deal

NEW YORK — Jemele Hill, the ESPN host who departed the sports network a year after tweeting that President Donald Trump was a white supremacist, has a book deal.Hill’s memoir will be published in 2021, Henry Holt and Company announced Tuesday. The book, Hill’s first, is currently untitled.“I’m excited about the opportunity to stretch myself and grow,” Hill said in a statement issued through her publisher. “I hope that by sharing some very personal experiences in this memoir — things I’ve never shared publicly before — people will have a better understanding of who I am. I also hope by sharing my story, people realize their circumstances don’t have to dictate their capabilities or contributions.”Hill joined ESPN in 2006 from the Orlando Sentinel and eventually moved in front of the cameras, notably on SportsCenter. She made headlines beyond the sports world in September 2017 when she tweeted on her personal account that Trump was a “white supremacist” and “the most ignorant, offensive president” of her lifetime. Then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Hill to be fired, and Trump himself said Hill was bad for ratings. In October 2017, ESPN announced it was suspending her for two weeks after she tweeted in favour of boycotting advertisers with the Dallas Cowboys, whose owner, Jerry Jones, had said that any player who took a knee during the national anthem would not play on his team.In 2018, Hill and ESPN amicably parted ways. She now is a staff writer for The Atlantic and hosts the Spotify Original podcast “Jemele Hill is Unbothered.” In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this year, she stood by her Trump comments.“I didn’t like the fact that it caused damage to people I care about and to relationships that I built, but in terms of what I said, I don’t regret it,” she said. “In my mind, I’ve only been proven right so it’s hard for me to regret it knowing that I’m on the right side of history.”Hillel Italie, The Associated Press read more

West Indies bowlers strike after DowrichHolder stand

File photo: Jason Holder (on the right with the bat in his hand)BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder both scored centuries before the West Indies bowlers struck four times to strengthen their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.After Dowrich and Holder shared a record 212-run stand for the eighth wicket to carry the West Indies to a first-innings total of 448 all out on the fourth morning, fast bowler Kemar Roach picked up two wickets before lunch.Pacer Shannon Gabriel and legspinner Devendra Bishoo followed up with a wicket apiece in the second session before Peter Moor and Sikandar Raza steadied the innings to take Zimbabwe to tea on 66 for four, still trailing the West Indies by 56 runs.Zimbabwe’s chances of ending an 11-match losing streak in Tests had looked good when Raza’s maiden five-wicket haul reduced West Indies to 230 for seven on the third afternoon at Queens Sports Club.But Dowrich and Holder constructed the West Indies’ highest eighth-wicket partnership in history, guiding the visitors to stumps on 374 for seven before continuing their assault on Wednesday morning.Holder enjoyed some fortune on 78 when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva off the bowling of Graeme Cremer, and made the most of it as he went on to score 110.Dowrich brought up his maiden Test hundred with a towering six off Cremer, but the partnership was finally ended in the following over when the wicketkeeper-batsman was trapped lbw for 103 by Tendai Chisoro.Having gained his maiden Test wicket, Chisoro went on to bowl Holder in his next over before wrapping up the innings when he trapped Roach lbw.The left-arm spinner thus finished with figures of 3 for 113, while Raza ended with 5 for 99.Needing to bat big in their second innings if they wanted to win the match and earn a share of the two-match series, Zimbabwe made a horrific start when Roach dismissed the two openers in consecutive overs.Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor attempted to resurrect the innings after lunch with a patient stand, but Taylor was trapped lbw by Gabriel before Ervine was bowled by Bishoo for 22. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWI v Zimbabwe: Hope, Chase, Brathwaite tune up with fiftiesOctober 16, 2017In “Sports”WI v Zimbabwe: Cremer, Chakabva keep hopes of draw aliveNovember 2, 2017In “Sports”Update: Kemar Roach claims five wickets as West Indies pace attack devastates EnglandJanuary 24, 2019In “latest news” read more