PALO ALTO, CA – OCTOBER 25: The scoreboard at Stanford Stadium shows the Stanford Cardinal taking a big lead against the Oregon State Beavers on October 25, 2014 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. Stanford won 38-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)Stanford’s 2018 football team began its season on Friday night. The Cardinal had little difficulty with its Week 1 opponent, knocking off San Diego State, 31-10, to improve to 1-0 on the season.The crowd, unfortunately, was not at peak performance for Stanford’s Week 1 game. It was kind of embarrassing, actually.There were thousands of empty seats at Stanford Stadium, especially at kickoff.It wasn’t the best of looks for the Pac-12 and College Football Playoff hopefuls.#49ers DL Solomon Thomas serves as honorary captain for No. 13 Stanford’s opener against San Diego St in front of a not so large crowd pic.twitter.com/I7Pmq2roDf— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 1, 2018CFP organizers are counting on Bay Area fans to get excited for the national title game in Santa Clara.Here is the crowd five minutes before kickoff of a ranked team’s season opener 25 minutes away. pic.twitter.com/IDMQ5D08u6— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 1, 2018It’s unfortunate that a team of Stanford’s caliber didn’t have better fan support for its Week 1 game. Hopefully it improves going forward.The Cardinal are set to take on No. 15 USC at home next weekend.
Jean Arnault, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), met in Kabul today with the Governor of Herat, Ismail Khan, Gen. Ustad Atta Mohammad, Commander of the 7th Corps, and Gen. Daoud, Commander of the 6th Corps.”They discussed key aspects of the national agenda, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security, the fight against drugs and the restoration of law and order,” UNAMA spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said in a statement released following the talks in the Afghan capital.According to the statement, Mr. Arnault “welcomes the commitments made by all three interlocutors”…particularly in the area of disarmament. “[He] is encouraged by these commitments and trusts that the DDR process will gain momentum and will result in tangible benefits for demobilized soldiers as well as for the stability and security of the country.”
“There is one word that has hung heavily on my mind during this visit – reprisals,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said in a press statement wrapping up her 9 to 21 January mission to the country. She said she is deeply concerned about those with whom she met and spoke, “those critical of the Government, those defending and advocating for the rights of others, and those who expressed their thoughts and opinions which did not conform to the narrative of those in the position of power.” Moreover, she noted the increasing use of section 66 (d) of the Telecommunications Law against many, “merely for speaking their minds.” “It is particularly alarming to learn that the security forces’ counter operations in the villages of Maungdaw north in Rakhine state have reportedly been resumed following a brief lull, with raids conducted in several villages including nearby the villages I visited,” Ms. Lee stressed.There are further allegations of arbitrary arrests and detention in relation to these latest reported raids.The expert was especially dismayed to note that during the visit, feelings of optimism and hope had appeared to be fading among the country’s ordinary people – just one year after nationwide elation over the last general elections.The Special Rapporteur regretted that due to security reasons, she was only allowed to go to Myitkyina, and not Laiza and Hpakant in Kachin, stating that the situation “at the northern borders is deteriorating.” “Those in Kachin state tell me that the situation is now worse than at any point in the past few years. Whilst I was not able to travel to the areas most severely affected, the situation is now such that even in Myitkyina, the capital of the state and home to over 300,000 people, residents are afraid – and now stay home after dark,” the UN expert explained.In visiting a hard labour camp in Mon state, Ms. Lee was concerned over prisoners’ living conditions, pointing to the use of shackles as a form of additional punishment and the lack of transparency regarding their transfer to the hard labour camp. Without an individual complaint system in prisons she was “struck by the fear of those prisoners who were afraid of what would happen to them after speaking to me.” A report from the visit will be presented in March to the UN Human Rights Council.Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.