October 2019

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New UN Decade aims to eradicate hunger prevent malnutrition

The 193-member General Assembly adopted a consensus resolution on Friday, calling on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead the implementation of the Decade. In a press release welcoming the decision, FAO called the document “a major step towards mobilizing action around reducing hunger and improving nutrition around the world.” The UN agencies, in addition to working with national governments, will collaborate with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and involve coordination mechanisms such as the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and multi-stakeholder platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Among other topics to be focused on during the Decade will be assistance to the some 159 million children under the age of five who are stunted, meaning too short for their age, and the approximate 50 million in that age bracket who are wasted, or have a low weight for their height. Meanwhile, around the world, about 1.9 billion people are overweight, of whom 600 million are obese. “This resolution places nutrition at the heart of sustainable development and recognizes improving food security and nutrition are essential to achieving the entire 2030 Agenda,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.”Children can’t fully reap the benefits of schooling if they don’t get the nutrients they need; and emerging economies won’t reach their full potential if their workers are chronically tired because their diets are unbalanced. That’s why we welcome the Decade of Action on Nutrition and look forward to helping make it a success,” he added. read more


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Welcoming progress in arms laydown in Colombia UN chief reiterates support to

Mr. Guterres also reiterated the readiness of the UN to continue to support the peace process in the South American country, as required, read a statement issued today. In a major milestone yesterday, the UN Mission in the country received a total of 2,300 weapons – just over 30 per cent of the arms of FARC-EP registered and identified by it – which are have been placed in its containers. This timeline was agreed between the Government and FARC-EP on 29 May.Also yesterday, Mission officials and those from the national Office of the High Commissioner for Peace travelled to the camps and started delivery of certificates and accreditations that will allow FARC-EP members formally start their reintegration into civilian life after the laying down of arms.“Both factors constitute a major event that attests to the willingness of the parties to respond to the hope created in Colombia and the international community by the signing of the Peace Agreement in November last year,” the UN mission noted in a news release issued today. The arms laydown process – a major component in the peace agreement – includes five distinct steps including: registration and identification of weapons, monitoring and verification of the holding of weapons, reception and storage of arms, neutralization of arms (to ensure that they will never again be used as firearms), and extraction of arms from camps. read more


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DR Congo Hunger crisis scarce funds could push Kasais to brink of

“ Without immediate donor support, many – particularly women and children – will die,” said Claude Jibidar, the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) operations in the DRC.The eruption of violence in what used to be a poor but peaceful region has claimed countless lives and forced nearly 1.4 million people from their homes.The crisis has also resulted in traditionally high malnutrition rates to sky-rocket and according to estimates, 3.2 million people are “desperately” short of food, the UN agency said.“A lull in fighting has allowed more staff to be deployed [and] aid workers have fanned out into the Kasai countryside. [We have] co-ordinated multi-agency logistics and humanitarian flights,” it added. WFP has been working against the clock to help ever more people. Its efforts have helped a population that is growing rapidly by the day – from 42,000 people assisted in September to 115,000 in October and 225,000 in November.However, money is quickly running and WFP plans to feed almost half a million people in December seem impossible as its resources are so depleted that only half-rations can be distributed.At the same time, donor assistance is extremely scarce.Hunger not only puts lives at risk: it is forcing people into prostitution and increasing the risk of sexual violence, stressed Mr. Jibidar, calling on Government partners to do all in their power to “spare Kasai from the kind of decades-long humanitarian catastrophe that has plagued other DRC regions.” read more


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UN ready to assist rescue and relief effort as dam collapses in

According to news reports, the collapse of the dam created flash flooding conditions that swept through Attapeu province in south-eastern Laos, submerging villages and leaving more than 6,000 homeless. “The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life and significant damage caused by a break in the hydroelectric dam under construction…adding to the previous destruction caused by Tropical Storm Son,” said his Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric in a statement.At least 20 people are believed to have died and many more who are missing are feared dead. It was reported that continuous rainstorms had caused a high volume of water to flow into the project’s reservoir, putting pressure on the dam.The Secretary-General extended his condolences to the victims’ families and to the Government and people of the Southeast Asian country, while also expressing the UN’s readiness to support the national rescue and relief efforts if required, Mr. Dujarric said. read more


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Pedal power makes positive impact on climate urges UN on World Bicycle

Everyone to use the bicycle to foster sustainable development, strengthen education, promote health and facilitate social inclusion and a culture of peace. According to the UN Environment Programme, even though the benefits of investing in pedestrians and cyclists can “save lives, help protect the environment and support poverty reduction”, the mobility needs of people who walk and cycle, mostly urban dwellers, “continue to be overlooked”.“The price paid for mobility is too high, especially because proven, low-cost and achievable solutions exist”, underscores UNEP’s Share the Road Programme Annual Report 2018. “No-one should die walking or cycling to work or school”.The Programme continues to advocate for action, working with countries around the world to prioritize the needs of pedestrians and cyclists – a critical part of the mobility solution for helping cities break the link between population growth and increased emissions, and to improve air quality and road safety.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is also a pathway to greater health equity for the poorest urban dwellers, by providing transport “while reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and even death”.A ‘crucial contribution’UN Headquarters in New York marked the day with a special outdoor event, which General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa observed comes “at a crucial time” as there are only 11 years left “to avoid the worst impacts of climate change”.,With 2030 marking the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she encouraged support for new technologies, adding that “we must also ensure we are harnessing existing tools, such as the bicycle”.“From reducing transport emissions and road deaths to tackling obesity and noncommunicable diseases, improving rural connectivity and empowering women and girls, bicycles can make a crucial contribution”, she stated.Noting that transport is the third-largest source of CO2, Ms. Espinosa cited studies showing that if just 10 per cent of city journeys were taken by bike, urban transport emissions would fall by 7 per cent.“It would also contribute to reducing air pollution – the theme for this year’s World Environment Day – helping to save the lives of some 7 million people a year”, she pointed out. “And I suspect there would be a significant boost – to the economy and to more peaceful societies – if people were not gridlocked in traffic.”“So, we must do more to integrate bicycles into urban and rural planning, infrastructure and design”, she urged. “And we must invest in education to promote the multiple benefits of cycling”.,World Bicycle Day encourages: Taking to two wheels fosters “sustainable consumption and production”, and has a “positive impact on climate”, according to the UN.Moreover, biking enhances access to education, health care and sport; and the synergy between the bicycle and the cyclist raises a more intimate and immediate awareness of the local environment.Happy #BicycleDay! I am very honored to be here today w/@UN family & inspiring cycling advocates to celebrate the contributions of this humble machine to human health, social & economic mobility, road safety and #ClimateAction! #BicyclesChangeLives #UN4ALL pic.twitter.com/59FluLLXsT— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) June 3, 2019 Member States to promote the bicycle throughout society and welcome welcomes initiatives to organize bicycle rides at the national and local levels as a means of strengthening physical and mental health and well-being and developing a culture of cycling in society.,After speaking at the event, UN News caught up with Phil Southerland, CEO and co-founder of Team Novo Nordisk, an American global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners.At just seven months old, Mr. Southerland was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Living in Tallahassee Florida, his parents were told that he would be dead or blind by age 25. Fortunately, at 12 years-old he discovered bicycling.While helping a friend in college to manage his own type 1 diabetes, Mr. Southerland realized the value of using the bike as a means to “show the world that exercise is the billion-dollar drug that never gets prescribed”.The athlete is living proof that “you can still chase your dreams with diabetes”. Member States to improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. Member States to consider the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies, including in international, regional, national and subnational development policies and programmes BreakThroughMediaAmbassadors from Indonesia, New Zealand and Bahrain joined athletes from Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all diabetes sports team, to celebrate the World Bicycle Day at UN Headquarters in New York. Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland is standing to the left of Billy, the mascot. read more


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Patriots look to continue December dominance against Vikings

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The month of December has been a special time for the New England Patriots during the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era.Since the pair arrived in 2000, the Patriots are 64-13 during the final month of the regular season. Brady has been the starter for all but six of those victories — four during his rookie season in 2000 and two in 2008 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.Still, the 41-year-old quarterback’s 58 December wins are the most in NFL history. His .843 winning percentage is second-best among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. Roger Staubach (17-3, .850) is first.Patriots special teams captain Matt Slater is one of the few players left on New England’s roster with enough tenure to appreciate that run and the emphasis Belichick puts on this portion of the season.“As coach says, ‘Football season starts after Thanksgiving,’” Slater said.Just for good measure, Brady is 75-18 in regular-season games played on or after Thanksgiving.Three of their final five games are at home, beginning with Sunday’s matchup with Minnesota.But even after the Patriots (8-3) earned their latest post-Turkey Day win last week over the Jets , Slater said the message coming from Belichick and Brady is far from a state of being content.“I don’t think we’ve played our best football yet,” Slater said. “I think it was a step in the right direction.”That’s not good news for a Vikings team that is in position to make the playoffs, but is also a few losses away from peering in from the outside.Minnesota (6-4-1) has lost four straight regular-season meetings with New England, though the teams haven’t met since 2014. The Vikings have won twice at New England, but their last victory was in 2000 in Belichick’s first year.Running back Dalvin Cook said the Vikings are trying to concentrate on themselves and not the Patriots’ mystique .“We’re going to get caught up in us playing good football, and that’s what we’ve got to focus on,” he said. “Everybody can go into the whole thing of ‘New England this.’ We respect Tom, we respect the Patriots, we respect everything they’ve got going. But it’s more about us at this point, about how we’re playing football and about just the little things we’re doing. We’ve got to go in and focus on those.”Here are some things to watch for in Sunday’s game:TOUGH ON TOM:Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s defences have had some success in minimizing Brady’s impact in some matchups against the five-time Super Bowl champion. Though Zimmer’s teams have lost three of four games against the Patriots, with the Vikings in 2014, as the defensive co-ordinator for Cincinnati in 2010 and as the defensive co-ordinator for Dallas in 2003, the Bengals beat New England 13-6 in 2013 with Zimmer in charge of the defence.Over those four games, Brady has been intercepted only once, but his average against Zimmer’s defences is only 204 passing yards and one touchdown with a 56.3 per cent completion rate.The game at New England for the Vikings is sandwiched between matchups with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, so Zimmer, his staff and his players have had their hands full lately and will continue to into the next month.“Like Belichick said about Rodgers,” Zimmer said of Brady, “I’m glad he’s not in our division.”GETTING THE GROUND GAME GOING:The Vikings have the third-fewest rushing yards in the league this year, after finishing seventh last season. Though the success of their passing game and particular game situations have factored into them falling to 28th in the NFL in attempts after totalling the second-most rushes last year, they’ll need an uptick down the stretch and in the playoffs, if they make it, to keep winning.Attacking the perimeter last week against the Packers was productive, with Cook and Stefon Diggs each taking jet sweep plays for 9 and 12 yards, respectively. There’s another untapped source of rushing yardage that lies with quarterback Kirk Cousins, too.Though Cousins had just 17 yards on six attempts and has never rushed for more than 38 yards in an NFL game, he’s had plenty of opportunities to bolt for a first down this year that he’s passed up in favour of a throw after the pocket has collapsed.“I can’t miss those opportunities when they’re there, and you also can’t go looking for them when they’re not there,” Cousins said. “You just have to play and react instinctively, and when they present themselves be ready to attack.”FAMILIAR FOE:Sunday will be a reunion of sorts for Patriots receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who spent the first four years of his career in Minnesota (2013-16) before being signed by the Raiders the following year.Patterson had a career-high four touchdown catches and was utilized out of the backfield as a rookie in 2013. But he developed a reputation as bad route-runner and barely got any time at receiver in his second and third seasons in Minnesota.He bounced back and had a career-best 52 catches during his final season in 2016.“They’re using him way better than we did,” said Zimmer, who coached Patterson for three seasons beginning in 2014. “I think they use him in a number of different ways. I mean, it’s good to see for him. I wish we would have used him a little bit better.”___AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell in Eagan, Minnesota, contributed to this report.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL___Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightowerKyle Hightower, The Associated Press read more


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Mens basketball Late comeback falls short for Ohio State Buckeyes lose 7977

The Ohio State men’s basketball team gathers together after a foul during its exhibition match-up against Walsh on Nov. 6. The Buckeyes won 85-67. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorA late comeback helped send the Ohio State Buckeyes to overtime against the Florida Atlantic Owls, but a last-second two-point jumper by sophomore guard Nick Rutherford gave the Owls the 79-77 victory. The Florida Atlantic Owls came into Tuesday’s game on a two-game losing streak, though they had averaged 84.25 points over their past four games. The Buckeyes on the other hand had won their last game over Fairleigh Dickinson 70-62.After breaking out to an early 5-2 lead, the Buckeyes began to fall apart defensively, allowing the Owls to go on an 11-0 run to take a 13-5 lead with 16:07 remaining in the half.At 15:40, the Buckeyes called a timeout and brought in junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, who had missed the past five games due to an injury he sustained against Providence. Bates-Diop immediately made an impact, draining a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game. He followed that up with another 2-point jumper and an assist on senior forward Marc Loving’s 3-pointer. With Bates-Diop in the game, the Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run to take a 15-13 lead.Following the Buckeyes’ 10-0 run, the two teams continued to trade punches with four lead changes coming in the next four minutes and 10 seconds. It wasn’t until the 8:20 mark when sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle dropped in a layup to give the Buckeyes the lead for the remainder of the half. Both teams ended the half on a sour note, as neither offense was able to drain a field goal over the last 3:38. Only two free throws by FAU sophomore Jeantal Cylla altered the score before the end of the first half. Heading into halftime, Ohio State held the narrow edge over Florida Atlantic 32-31. The leading scorer at that point was FAU redshirt senior guard Adonis Filer with 10 points. Sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle led the Buckeyes with seven points. After the under-16 timeout, FAU freshman forward Jailyn Ingram gave the Owls the lead 40-39. But the Buckeyes, led by junior center Trevor Thompson would start a comeback. Thompson opened up the scoring with a jumper that he followed up with an easy layup to give the Buckeyes a 43-40 lead. Bates-Diop added in a layup and a point after to expand the Bucks lead to 46-40. Two successful free throws brought the Owls closer, but another layup from Thompson and a jumper from Loving helped the Buckeyes grab a 50-42 lead. A jumper from the Owls helped them stay in it, but two free throws from junior forward Jae’Sean Tate and three consecutive layups from Bates-Diop, Thompson and Tate put the Buckeyes soundly ahead 58-47.That 18-7 run helped the Buckeyes take the lead, but the Owls quickly bounced back. Thanks in large parts to 3-pointers from Filer and Cylla helped FAU blow up on a 14-0 run to give the Owls a 61-58 lead with 5:53 remaining in the second half. The Buckeyes found themselves trailing 61-58 with the crowd seemingly out of it, but a dunk by freshman center Micah Potter and a dazzling layup from sophomore guard C.J. Jackson helped provide the Buckeyes and their home crowd with a spark and bring the score to 62-61 Buckeyes. A floater from redshirt junior guard Kam Williams opened up the overtime period and gave the Buckeyes the 73-71 lead. Tate added a jumper of his own to expand the lead to 75-71. FAU’s Filer shot an easy 3-pointer to keep the Owls close, but Loving sunk two free throws to keep the Buckeyes ahead at 77-74. FAU sophomore guard Nick Rutherford hit a jumper 21 seconds after Loving’s free throws to bring the score to 77-76. A free throw by the Owls junior forward William Pfister tied the game up with only 1:21 remaining in the game. And then with one second left in the game, Rutherford hit a jumper to give the Owls a 79-77 lead. read more


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Commentary Ohio State made the right decision to fire Thad Matta at

Coach Thad Matta calls to players. OSU beat Purdue, 63-61, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament March 13, 2014 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Credit: Shelby Lum | Former Photo EditorThere is never a perfect time to fire the winningest coach in a program’s history. There’s no easy way for Ohio State to move on from the man who took the Buckeyes to the brink of winning their first national championship since 1960. But, the timing of Monday’s firing of now-former coach Thad Matta is particularly bad for OSU.Teams have moved on from the 2016-17 season, are transitioning to the fall and, if necessary, they made a coaching change months ago. No head coach has been hired by a major Division 1 school since New Mexico tabbed Paul Weir as its leader on April 11.The inopportune swap is not lost on OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith, who sat next to Matta at a press conference to announce the end of the three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year’s tenure in Columbus Monday.“No time is optimal, but obviously this time is not the best,” Smith said. “So I need to be sensitive to what I’m dealing with in this window of time.”Since OSU is late to the coaching carousel, it won’t have to jockey with other schools for hot-shot up-and-comers or established coaching talent on the market.But is that a good thing, or does it mean that the coaches who check off both “talented” and “available” boxes do not exist any more? Could the Buckeyes have won over former Dayton coach Archie Miller, who decided to leave the state of Ohio to take over the Indiana program? We’ll never know because OSU’s job wasn’t open when the former Flyers coach was listening to the Hoosiers’ pitch.Established coaches and potential candidates such as Arizona’s Sean Miller, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Virginia’s Tony Bennett are each heading successful programs and have turned down offers from major schools in the past. Given OSU’s lackluster roster and the reality that basketball will never be the university’s most important sport, a fit in Columbus for these coaches is not obvious.Exciting, young coaches such as Xavier’s Chris Mack and Butler’s Chris Holtmann could stay with their programs for another season – both of which bring back talented rosters – and hope to attract a head coach offer from a higher profile school than OSU.Whoever sits in Matta’s former chair in the fall will have a tough job. With just 10 scholarship players, including a former walk-on, and major recent roster turnover, the new head coachBut, it just takes one person to say yes. That’s where optimism should set in. Despite the recent struggles, OSU is still appealing, and there’s an obvious place to start: at the bank.Only two Big Ten coaches – Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Michigan’s John Beilein – made more than Matta in 2017. But if you thought OSU might be cash-strapped as it is buying out Matta’s next three seasons, think again.The athletic department is flush with cash. It is spending $43 million on building a student-athlete development center and $49.7 million on a wrestling facility, and will also be building an arena for volleyball, gymnastics and fencing. They are also reportedly considering building a hockey arena.If OSU thinks it can hire someone to replicate Matta’s success from his first decade as the Buckeyes coach, it would pay up to do so.At Monday’s press conference, Smith said that he didn’t intend to relieve Matta of his duties when the two met on Friday. If that’s true, the pressure is on for him to act quickly and bring in someone who can find the success on the court that has escaped the program in recent years.Only time will tell if the Buckeyes whiffed on their opportunity to find a worthy replacement for Matta in a timely matter. Perhaps Smith has a master plan to land Miller, Villanova coach Jay Wright or Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan.But, maybe he doesn’t.Sometimes, even if the correct decision is made but the window of opportunity is missed, the result is a disappointment. OSU might learn the hard way.Colin Hass-Hill: hass-hill.1@osu.edu and Twitter @chasshill read more