Commending Yemenis on peace pact Ban urges partners to step up support

“If we continue to stand united and step up our support, I am confident that Yemen’s transition towards a more stable, democratic and prosperous future can succeed,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the Friends of Yemen Ministerial Meeting held at UN Headquarters on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.In the message, delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Mr. Ban said that the Peace and National Partnership Agreement – brokered by UN Special Adviser Jamal Benomar and signed by all the key parties in Yemen – is a step in the right direction. “All sides now bear a solemn responsibility to implement this agreement in full and without delay, exercising maximum restraint, ceasing all violent acts, and enabling the legitimate authorities to fully exercise their national duties,” he stated. The Secretary-General also raised concerns about the millions of people who continue to rely on life-saving assistance.“I urge Member States to increase their support for life-saving and stabilization efforts that will make a tangible investment in the future of the Yemeni people,” he said, adding: “I count on the members of the Security Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Friends of Yemen to sharpen their focus on helping Yemen.”The Friends comprise nearly 40 organizations and countries that meet regularly to discuss the political, economic, security and humanitarian sectors in Yemen, which has been undergoing a democratic transition since early 2012.Yesterday, the UN Security Council welcomed the recent peace pact and called for its full and immediate implementation, an immediate end to all attacks and threats, and the rapid formation of a new government. read more

Despite praise and accolades JT Barrett is still earning his stripes

Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball during a game against Cincinnati on Sept. 27 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 50-28, behind 409 yards of total offense from Barrett.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhen the Ohio State football team took the field to open the season, Urban Meyer didn’t know what to expect from his quarterback.But five weeks and four Big Ten awards later, the OSU coach said he has a better idea of what redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett’s development has been like.“J.T. continues to be a very good distributor, completing a high percentage of his balls, and really we’re giving him more and more responsibility about getting us in the right play, which is a big part of what the quarterback’s expected to do,” Meyer said after OSU’s 50-28 win against Cincinnati on Saturday.On Tuesday, Meyer said his comfort level with Barrett under center is “night and day” from what it was when the Buckeyes took the field against Navy on Aug. 30, but a day earlier, he had made it clear Barrett’s play hasn’t earned him a permanent spot.Senior quarterback Braxton Miller — who is out for the season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder — is expected to return to the Buckeyes as a fifth-year senior in 2015. And Meyer put any potential talk of a quarterback controversy to rest with one simple phrase: “Braxton is our quarterback.”“To be fair to Braxton, Big Ten Player of the Year,” Meyer said Monday. “Good to know we’ve got both of them.”But Meyer isn’t dismissing Barrett’s work. Moments before saying he is committed to Miller as the Buckeyes’ quarterback, Meyer stressed the confidence he has in Barrett this season.“I love J.T., he’s fun to coach,” Meyer said. “He’s a guy that has a great demeanor on the sideline. He’s a student of the game.”Meyer hasn’t been the only person to praise Barrett’s play.Sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson — who was part of the same recruiting class as Barrett coming out of high school — said the young quarterback is “playing very well” so far this season.Senior quarterback Braxton Miller, who is out for the season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, arrived at Ohio Stadium for a game against Virginia Tech dressed in a suit before spending the game in the press box and on the sidelines. OSU lost, 35-21.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor“I always knew he had it in him because he’s such a great leader,” Wilson said after the win against the Bearcats. “He works really hard, and now, he’s just perfecting his craft.”On top of receiving a total of three Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards and one Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award, Barrett has reaped praise from teammates and the coaching staff alike, along with some constructive criticism.After that Cincinnati game — in which Barrett gained 409 yards of total offense, good for the second-best output in school history — Meyer said the Wichita Falls, Texas, native still has room for improvement as a field general that was noticeable on the field. The third-year OSU coach said Barrett needs to do a better job communication in order to prevent penatlies from the offensive line.Meyer said the line was having trouble hearing Barrett’s cadence, which led to multiple false starts and therefore lost yardage against Cincinnati.“I kept screaming ‘Peyton Manning’ at him, because when I study or just get to watch games, Peyton Manning’s still as good as I’ve ever seen as far as taking control,” Meyer said after the game. “And (Barrett’s) not there yet, so (he needs to) take control of the offense.”Despite the praise and criticism, as well as Meyer’s stated commitment to Miller, Barrett is still set to have the rest of the season to prove his merit as OSU’s starting quarterback.The Buckeyes’ next game is scheduled for Saturday against Maryland in College Park, Md at Byrd Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon. read more