The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today condemned the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia.Rizana Nafeek, who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka to work as a housemaid in 2005, was charged with the murder of her employers’ baby a week after her arrival. Despite a birth certificate that allegedly showed she was a minor at the time of the baby’s death and repeated expressions of concern from the international community, she was convicted of murder, sentenced to death and beheaded. “We are deeply troubled by reports of irregularities in her detention and trial, including that no lawyer was present to assist her in key stages of her interrogation and trial, that language interpretation was poor, and Ms Nafeek’s contention that she was physically assaulted and forced to sign a confession under duress,” Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. On 1 November 2010, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, sent an urgent appeal in connection with Ms. Nafeek’s case. In June 2007, his predecessor Philip Alston had already raised concerns about the imposition of the death penalty for an alleged crime committed when Ms Nafeek was still below eighteen years of age.*“We note with great concern the sharp increase in the use of capital punishment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2011. The High Commissioner strongly supports the global movement away from the death penalty. She was pleased that a clear majority of Member States (111) recently voted for General Assembly resolution 67/176, which calls for a moratorium on the death penalty. We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the growing world’s movement away from the death penalty,” Colville said.
It’s a tough season to be a center in the WNBA.Foul calls are down significantly, dropping by 1.4 fouls per game from 2018. But the “big” bigs — the best fives the league has to offer — have been hit especially hard. Through 32 games, the number of free-throw attempts by Liz Cambage of the Las Vegas Aces, Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury and Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx is down 37 percent.The results have been evident. Griner, tired of taking so much uncalled contact, was involved in an altercation last month that resulted in a three-game suspension. Cambage described it, in an interview earlier this summer, this way: “I don’t really see myself playing into my 30s because I don’t want to go to war.” Cambage is still having an elite season, but her overall production is down from last year — her field-goal percentage has fallen from 58.9 to 49.3 percent while her true shooting percentage has dropped from 64.3 to 55.2 percent.But Fowles, through a combination of inter- and intraseason adaptations, has kept her production remarkably consistent. Her career field-goal percentage is 59.3 percent. This season, her field-goal percentage is … 59.1 percent.Another year, same Syl. At age 33, Fowles is this generation’s greatest center, trailing only Lauren Jackson among centers in career Win Shares, but she doesn’t get enough appreciation, to hear her coach and teammates tell it.“Syl reminds me of myself, like no one recognizes her greatness,” said Fowles’s current Lynx and former LSU teammate Seimone Augustus. “But she continues to just get better, year after year. I mean, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done and she retires, I think people are going to look back and go, ‘Wow.’”By the catch-all stat Win Shares, Fowles has quietly amassed more value than anyone else in the WNBA over the past three seasons. Elena Delle Donne, Griner and Cambage may get more headlines, but only Fowles has more than 20 win shares since the start of the 2017 season. No one else has cracked 19.But while the statistics — at least the topline numbers — would indicate that Fowles is simply the same great center she’s been since her rookie season in Chicago back in 2008, a closer look at how she’s been scoring her points in 2019 reveals the change she made to enhance her game.Fowles is 19-for-34 on shots 15 to 19 feet away from the basket, a 55.9 percent clip that ranks her among this season’s elite midrange shooters. For reference, Fowles was 2-for-6 from that distance in 2018.That didn’t happen by accident. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve told Fowles in their exit meeting at the end of 2018 that she wanted her to diversify her game, and Fowles worked with Lynx assistant Walt Hopkins all offseason. The daily routine was punishing: Fowles would shoot at the rim, in the paint, from the free-throw and three-point lines, and couldn’t advance to the next spot until she made five in a row, all swishes.Her success this season from all over the court has actually helped Fowles focus on her original strength — that endless array of post moves — and not settle for the jumpers she’s now sinking routinely.“I have to make sure it doesn’t take away what I do best,” Fowles said. “I have to make sure I don’t get too relaxed and shoot jumpers. When I’m open, I shoot. But when I’m not, it’s making sure I do what I used to do, and that’s going to the rim.”But even Fowles acknowledged a frustration with how much harder it has been to earn foul-line trips through contact. Fowles has gotten more than four free-throw attempts in a game just six times all season. In 2018, she shot more than four free throw attempts in 17 of 34 games.I asked Sue Blauch, the WNBA’s head of referee performance and development, about the reduction in both free-throw attempts originating out of the paint and player frustration with it. She acknowledged the decrease in offensive efficiency in the league this season and said “everyone should dig deep and explore” what might be the cause. “We certainly looked at our play-calling data and have addressed any contribution that officiating may have had,” she said.Refs across the WNBA did seem to take note of recent league office guidance. Before July’s All-Star break, the average number of fouls per game was 33.2. Since then, fouls are up to 37.3 per game — an increase of 12.3 percent. That shift toward more fouls in the paint required another adjustment for Fowles, who was sent to the bench early in several games with foul trouble herself.“Now everything’s a foul fest, the last couple of games it’s a foul fest, we have to adjust to that,” Reeve said after a Minnesota win in New York on Aug. 13. “All of a sudden there’s an about-face about how it’s being officiated. And so I told Syl, I said, ‘No complaints now. You know, you gotta get yourself to the foul line.’ Some of it is being patient and not racing through the move, give a defender a chance to foul you, type of thing. So I think she’s got to be a little more poised in the post.”It isn’t easy. Fowles said she huddled with Cambage and Griner during All-Star weekend in Las Vegas about how to handle all the physical abuse. She laughed when asked if she meditates.“Oh, yes,” Fowles said. “I meditate. I talk to therapists. It gets frustrating.” But she doesn’t want to talk about it with her teammates and coaches, to “put out that negative energy.” Instead, she just continues to be Sylvia Fowles.In the three games after that Aug. 13 win, she shot 63.6 percent. She took only one shot from the 15-to-19-foot range. And in her past four games, she’s shot 59.5 percent, going 4-of-7 when 15 to 19 feet from the basket.The rules change, the teams change, the players change. But Sylvia Fowles keeps on doing what she does.
The Cabinet has moved swiftly to approve key economic stimulus decisions aimed at boosting economic growth, poverty-reduction, and job-creation, an Executive Mansion release said.According to the release, the Cabinet further mandated the Special City Beautification Task Force headed by Madam Mary T. Broh, Director and General Services Agency (GSA) to carry out the exercise in a coordinated, systematic and adequate notice-sharing manner.“The Cabinet scrupulously examined and approved the concepts and blueprints for the implementation of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Task Force; Manufacturing and Business Support Task Force; Special City Beautification Task Force; and the Netherlands International Development Forum for Ebola countries.Meanwhile, the respective Task Forces are to proceed accordingly, to realistically accomplish the relevant deliverables in the supreme national interest, the release stated. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Philadelphia 76ers’ Dario Saric, center, of Croatia, celebrates with Marco Belinelli, right, of Italy, and Amir Johnson, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid grabbed a loose ball and hustled toward midcourt, feigning like he would dunk.Embiid’s gold sneakers and peach-colored jacket — and a red, white and blue basketball — were a giveaway that he was again in street clothes. With or without Embiid, the 76ers are streaking into the postseason as the hottest team in the NBA.ADVERTISEMENT P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ — had 22 assists, eight steals, three blocks.— led by 41, 70-29.With the Sixers up 39, fans started chanting “Trust the Process! Trust the Process!”The much-maligned — now sure to duplicated — “process” method that saw the Sixers strip the roster of talent to guarantee losing and stockpile draft picks has been a winner. Embiid, Simmons and Fultz all played crucial roles in leading the Sixers (52-30) to their best record since the 2001 Eastern Conference champs went 56-26.“It’s not something that I deem to be, here we are, we’ve arrived, significant-type status,” coach Brett Brown said. “It’s not that. I want them to enjoy it. Take a deep breath. Then reload.”TIP-INSBucks: Jabari Parker scored 25 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 10 points and 10 rebounds.“Right from the start, there were problems,” Bucks coach Joe Punty said. “I can rant and rave right now but I don’t think that’s the important thing. It was clear we didn’t play very well.”76ers: The NBA rule says players must wear a clear mask but Embiid and the Sixers could petition the league for a change. … Embiid said he deserved to win NBA defensive player of the year, Simmons should be rookie of the year and Brown for coach of the year. … Justin Anderson led the Sixers with 25 points and Dario Saric had 24.UP NEXTThe Sixers and Bucks both have two days off before the NBA playoffs open. Late Ronaldo penalty keeps Madrid alive in Champions League Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Embiid and JJ Redick watched from the bench, Ben Simmons had a scoreless first half and the Philadelphia 76ers still won their 16th consecutive game, thumping the Milwaukee Bucks 130-95 Wednesday night to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.The 52-win Sixers will open the Eastern Conference playoffs against the sixth-seeded Miami Heat. No. 7 Milwaukee will meet No. 2 Boston.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMarkelle Fultz, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 draft who missed 68 games with a shoulder injury, became the youngest player in NBA history (19 years, 317 days) with a triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.“It was just a matter of going out there and enjoying myself and playing confident,” Fultz said. LATEST STORIES Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil The 76ers have done just fine without him.Redick was a late scratch with lower back tightness and Simmons, who finished with four points, missed both shots in the first half. No problem. The Sixers hit 11 3s in the first half and could have celebrated the No. 3 seed at halftime.The Sixers had to win to earn the three spot and they dominated a Bucks team that was fighting for seeding in the playoffs. At one point, the Sixers led 72-37 — at the same time the Flyers were down 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL playoffs.Embiid, who entertained the crowd during timeouts, hasn’t played since March 28 when he suffered a broken bone around his left eye in a collision with Fultz. The Sixers clearly need their big man if they’re going to make a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Embiid leads the team with 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in 63 games, helping Philly clinch its first playoff berth since 2012.“I want to play but right now I feel like I’m not ready yet,” Embiid said. “It’s getting there. I’ve got to keep working every day. With the way it’s been progressing, I’m hopeful I’ll be back soon.”He said the eye was still swollen, though he doesn’t suffer from blurred vision.Even those with 20/20 vision needed a second look at the scoreboard to make sure the numbers were real.The Sixers in the first half— shot 59 percent from the floor (31 of 53).— shot 46 percent on 3s (11 of 24). His teammates doused Fultz with strawberry milk, chocolate milk and water in celebration of the record feat.“It’s all love and appreciation,” he said.Fultz should have hit up Embiid and borrowed something to protect his face.Embiid wore a black mask during warmups to protect his broken bone around his left eye, then changed into his garish outfit to watch the Sixers romp to a stunning 80-44 lead at the break.Embiid said he will likely miss at least Game 1 of the playoffs this weekend because of the injury.ADVERTISEMENT Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments