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Yemen UN aid chief welcomes 1 billion funding pledge as humanitarian crisis

“I reiterate the Secretary-General’s statement welcoming the generous $1 billion pledge by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support humanitarian action in Yemen, as well as their commitment to raise an additional $500 million from other donors in the region,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said Tuesday.Saudi Arabia and the UAE agreed with the UN that $930 million would be transferred by 31 March, in support of the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) – with the clear stipulation that the funds be used on humanitarian need alone.The two countries would also provide an additional $70 million to support port rehabilitation and infrastructure in the country as part of the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations Plan issued by the Saudi-led coalition in January 2018.The funds represent almost one-third of the YHRP $2.96 billion requirement.“Once converted,” Mr. Lowcock said, “the pledge will reduce hunger, contain disease, maintain essential health, water and education services and relieve the suffering of millions of Yemenis across the country.”“If fully funded,” he continued “the UN and its partners will provide, among other assistance, emergency food to more than 8.5 million Yemenis, nutritional services to 5.6 million children, pregnant women and mothers, and safe water to 5.4 million people.The UN and its partners will also rehabilitate more than 1,400 schools and 650 health facilities destroyed by the ongoing conflict.Mr. Lowcock thanked both countries for moving forward with the “generous and much needed infusion of funds.”“I hope this generosity will encourage more donors to contribute to the YHRP, including ahead of the international pledging conference on Yemen to be held in Geneva on 3 April,” he added.A record 22.2 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance – 3.4 million more than last year.“I call on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law by protecting civilians and civilian infrastructure and facilitating rapid, safe and unfettered humanitarian access to Yemen and within the country,” stressed Mr. Lowcock, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.While brave humanitarians are committed to saving lives, only a political solution and an end to the conflict will stop the suffering of the Yemeni people.“We renew our call on all parties to cease hostilities and to engage meaningfully with the United Nations to achieve a lasting political settlement,” concluded Mr. Lowcock. read more

RollsRoyce expands leather shop thanks to ongoing success

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that the company’s leather shop has been expanded following the continued success of the Phantom, Ghost and newly-launched Wraith. An additional 10 positions in the machinist team have been created as a result.The machinist team was launched with just four people in 2002, the West Sussex-based leather shop currently employs 40 skilled associates working across two shifts. The team also hosts interns, apprentices and graduates during their time at the company.Andrew Monachan, General Manager Leather Shop, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “I am delighted to confirm that we have expanded our leather shop here at the home of Rolls-Royce. Every one of our cars is hand built to order and we are reintroducing craft skills that, in many cases, would otherwise have lain dormant or been lost completely.”Potential candidates should have suitable skills but do not need to currently be working as a machinist. Skills gained in a previous role or as a hobbyist could be appropriate and full and extensive training will be provided. Potential candidates for all Rolls-Royce Motor Cars positions should apply online at: www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/careersClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Three takeaways OSU mens basketball still working to improve

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 EditorIt’s basketball season once again in Columbus. The Ohio State men’s basketball team took the court for the first time Sunday afternoon as they faced off with the Walsh University Cavaliers. In the first action of the season, the Buckeyes overpowered the Division II opponent 85-67 off of a 14-point performance by sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle.Overall, the first-half performances on both sides could be called sloppy at best. Both teams combined for 15 turnovers and 28 personal fouls during the opening period, and it seemed like neither team was particular ready to run an offense.Midway through the second half, OSU got the ball rolling with solid play on both sides of the ball, outscoring Walsh 45-35 after halftime. The Buckeyes had the game wrapped up midway through the second.Highlighted by players smiling after big plays and laughing off mistakes, including a missed dunk by sophomore guard C.J. Jackson, OSU rolled to an 18-point victory. After the game, the transfer student from Eastern Florida State said it would not happen again, but his fellow first-year OSU players at the podium seemed to find humor in his embarrassment.In the lighthearted contest that ended up going the Buckeyes’ way, here are three takeaways from the first OSU men’s basketball game in Value City Arena this season. Things are still a bit rustyIt should have been expected by most that the first action on the court in 2016 was going to be far from pretty. In the first 10 minutes, those expectations came true. OSU was hesitant running the court in the opening minutes of the scrimmage, struggling to formulate an offense and analyze the defensive sets that Walsh was throwing at it. OSU also committed far too many fouls to slow the Cavaliers’ offensive attack, which caused Buckeyes coach Thad Matta to be slightly displeased with his team’s performance.“We talked about it at halftime,” he said. “We couldn’t get a run going because of the fouls. They were committable fouls. How many times we fouled shooters … we weren’t as smart as we needed to be in terms of our defense.”There is still time to make the team regular-season ready, but OSU can’t afford to struggle with the same kind of issues that plagued the team last year.First-year players will have an impactThe lineup is far from certain for OSU after a solid scrimmage performance turned in by freshman center Micah Potter and the rest of the first-time Buckeyes. Potter knocked down a three-pointer en route to a six-point performance with five rebounds and a block.Jackson picked up five points, but his real contribution was on the defensive side of the ball. Four steals, three of which came during the second half, paired with a six-assist mark with no turnovers earned high praise from Matta.“I just tried to make the simple play and not do too much,” Jackson said. “Just hit the open man. Coach Matta has really been pressing us on making the good pass, making the perfect pass and snapping the ball to the right guy. That’s kind of what I focus on: taking one play at a time and just throw it to the team in white and we’re good to go.”Jackson could have an extended role very soon, and OSU might be reaping the benefits.JaQuan Lyle and Keita Bates-Diop a dynamic duoSophomore guard JaQuan Lyle and junior forward Keita Bates-Diop were key members of the 2015 team, combining for an average of 11.2 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. This year, the story should be no different.Lyle and Bates-Diop combined for 26 points and 10 rebounds, going 10-for-14 as a duo. Lyle was scrutinized for his play last season, but Matta said during OSU Media Days in September that he has made progress.It might be too early to say how much of an impact the two will have, but Sunday’s game showed how well the two can work when on the court. read more