Top UN peacekeeper to visit mission in Haiti

Top UN peacekeeper to visit mission in Haiti

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Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno is expected to return to New York on Sunday, spokesperson Marie Okabe said, after a visit to key personnel of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). His visit follows a Security Council decision, effective today, to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate for a further eight months and add more than 1,000 personnel, bringing its staffing level to nearly 9,400 to increase security in the run-up to a newly elected government’s inauguration next February. The Council also called on MINUSTAH and the Transitional Government to immediately begin the disarmament, demobilization and re-integration (DDR) programme for ex-combatants. Earlier in his visit, Mr. Guéhenno met with Government officials, including President Boniface Alexandre, Prime Minister Gerard Latortue and members of civil society, including leaders of religious groups and non-governmental organizations.

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Serena stunned by Vinci

first_imgNEW YORK (AP):For Serena Williams’ first 26 matches at major tournaments in 2015, no deficit was too daunting, no opponent too troublesome, no victory too far from reach.She was unbeaten and, seemingly, unbeatable, nearing the first Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century. All Williams needed was two more wins to pull off that rare feat. And yet, against an unseeded and unheralded opponent in the US Open semi-finals, she faltered. Her pursuit of history ended, oh so close.In one of the most significant upsets in the history of tennis, Williams finally found a hole too big to climb out of, losing 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 yesterday at Flushing Meadows to 43rd-ranked Roberta Vinci of Italy.”I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me,” Williams said at the start of a briefer-than-usual news conference. “If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.”Vinci had never before played in a Grand Slam semi-final. She had never so much as taken a set off Williams in four previous match-ups.VICTORIOUS DAY”Today is my day,” Vinci told the crowd in an on-court interview. “Sorry, guys!”She said she told herself not to think about having Williams across the net. And Vinci’s unusual style, full of slices and net rushes, kept Williams off-balance enough to cause problems and prevent the 33-year-old American from becoming the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single season. Williams had been pushed to the limit before – this was her 12th three-setter in a major this season – but had managed to win titles at the Australian Open on hard courts in January, the French Open on clay courts in June, and Wimbledon on grass courts in July.This time, for once, the No. 1-ranked Williams could not pull it out, undone by 40 unforced errors, twice as many as Vinci. That negated the impact of Williams’ 16 aces, including one at 126 mph.”I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” Williams said about Vinci. “She played, literally, out of her mind.”Today, Vinci will face another Italian making her Grand Slam final debut: 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, who eliminated No. 2 Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 earlier yesterday.Pennetta, 33, and Vinci, 32, have known each other since they were kids, having grown up in towns about 40 miles apart on opposite coasts of Puglia, a region in the south-eastern heel of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula.Now they will face each other in a stadium in New York – with a Grand Slam trophy on the line. An intriguing story line, to be sure, but nothing compared to what Williams was chasing: a perfect Grand Slam season.After all, not only was she 26-0 at those tournaments this year, but her winning streak at majors was 33 matches entering yesterday, because she won last year’s US Open.If she had managed to win a fifth consecutive major title, Williams would have raised her total to 22, equalling Graf for the most in the Open era, which began in 1968, and second-most in history behind Margaret Court’s 24.last_img

Leading WI players urged to play in regional tournaments

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The West Indies Cricket Board yesterday urged top regional players to make themselves available for upcoming domestic tournaments, even as several of them prepared to turn out in Australia’s Big Bash League which runs alongside next month’s NAGICO Super50.Chief executive Michael Muirhead said the Super50 – the region’s premier one-day tournament – had been scheduled during a period to allow for maximum participation for the Caribbean’s leading players, and said their presence would be a fillip especially for West Indian fans.”There is an opportunity to have the best players compete for regional supremacy in the upcoming events,” Muirhead said.”The Board has looked at its tournament schedule and has placed each tournament at a time that allows our international players to participate in other competitions overseas.”We, however, value our competitions and we think the fans would want to see our best players compete against each other.”The Super50 bowls off from January 7-24 in Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts, and features eight teams spread across two groups doing battle in a preliminary phase before climaxing with semi-finals and a grand Final.However, the Big Bash which started on Thursday, runs through to the New Year and is set to also wind up on January 24.Several West Indies players will be campaigning in the Big Bash with the likes of marquee opener Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Lendl Simmons all signed to various franchises.Players who fail to make themselves available for the Super50, will be ineligible for the Tri-Nations Series involving Australia and South Africa from June 6-26.Muirhead said with the packed schedule ahead next year, all players would also have the opportunity to develop further.”In the upcoming year, there are a number of tours in and out of the region and with that amount of cricket added, along with the phased roll out of the high performance program, the players will have a chance at better preparing themselves for producing at the highest level.”Following the Super50, the Regional First Class Championship will resume with the remaining five rounds on February 11.last_img

Dramatic draw for Chelsea

first_img Sergio Aguero, twice, and Fabian Delph and David Sivla scored to power City to a 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace. There was a pair of significant wins, however, for struggling teams. Bournemouth halted a four-match winless run with a 3-0 victory over Norwich that was completed by $17 million record signing Benik Afobe, a recent recruit for the newcomers, after goals from Dan Gosling and Charlie Daniels. The win lifted Bournemouth a place above Norwich into 15th – only a point behind Chelsea. Newcastle climbed out of the relegation zone to move two points behind Norwich by beating West Ham 2-1 through first-half goals from Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum. With fifth-place West Ham losing, it was an even better day for Tottenham, which moved four points ahead of its London rival by coming from behind to beat Sunderland 4-1. James Ward-Prowse scored twice and Dusan Tadic as Southampton beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0. Additional minute LONDON (AP): In an English Premier League campaign about restoring pride at Chelsea, the fallen champions still ensure their games cannot be ignored. It’s not just fascination with watching a wealthy team in decline. Yesterday, a dreary opening 45 minutes against Everton made way for a thrilling second half that started with John Terry’s own goal and ended with the captain scoring in the right net in the eighth minute of stoppage time to clinch a 3-3 draw. Even Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink – unbeaten since replacing the fired Jose Mourinho last month – accepted Terry was offside when he flicked the ball past goalkeeper Tim Howard in stoppage time. Everton manager Roberto Martinez was aggrieved that the referee played an additional minute of injury time when seven had been indicated on the fourth official’s board just after Ramiro Funes Mori made it 3-2 in the 90th minute. Everton led through Terry’s own goal and Kevin Mirallas’ strike on the turn before Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas scored for Chelsea. “There is an understandable feeling of disappointment in having to drop two points in a game that we had to play seven minutes of injury time with the last action happening in seven minutes and 51 seconds,” Martinez said. The surprise leaders once again were Leicester, the team that was battling relegation a year ago. And yet yesterday represented a missed opportunity for the team led by former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri. By drawing 1-1 with bottom-place Aston Villa after Shinji Okazaki’s opener was cancelled out by Rudy Gestede, Leicester are only on top by a point. Arsenal can reclaim top spot by just drawing at Stoke today. Between Leicester and Arsenal are ever-present Manchester City. Struggling teamslast_img

Amla upbeat about preparations

first_img The visitors were pegged back largely by rookie leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, who picked up four for 53 from his 10 overs. “It was a really good sign that our bowlers got some time in the middle before it started raining. It was turning out to be a good game,” Amla said. “They bowled well. It started raining and the ball got really wet, but even then they bowled decently. Getting overs under the belt is the most important thing.” South Africa will join hosts West Indies and world champions Australia in Guyana for the Tri-Nations Series, which runs from June 3-26. The series will move on to St Kitts from June 11-15 before winding up in Barbados. Though the majority of the Proteas unit are coming off the Indian Premier League, which climaxed last Sunday, Amla said he did not foresee any major problems with the transition from Twenty20 cricket to the 50-overs format. “I don’t think (the difference) is that big. The only thing is that you have a lot of time to set the game up,” the former captain said. “You have to remind yourself that there is a lot of time still left in the game, but it’s a lot easier to go from T20s to one-dayers than from a Test match.” GOOD SIGN PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC): Opener Hashim Amla says Sunday’s one-day tour match against the WICB President’s XI was important in South Africa’s build-up to the start of the Tri-Nations Series later this week, even though rain ruined the contest at Queen’s Park Oval. Opting to bat, the Proteas piled up 280 for nine off their 50 overs, and the President’s XI were 127 for three in the 25th over when rained arrived to end the game prematurely. The game was ruled a tie under Duckworth/Lewis. “It was a great outing for us. When you come to a foreign country, the most important thing is having time on the legs, especially some of the guys who haven’t played in a while,” said the prolific opener, who top-scored with 92. “We put up a good total on the board. Fortunately I managed to get some runs and a few of the lower order batsmen as well, which is quite handy.”last_img

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