New round of UNled talks on Western Sahara to start next week

“As was the case with the previous meetings, and due to the sensitivity of the ongoing discussions, the talks will once again be private,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York. The three-day meeting which begins on Monday will take place in Manhasset, Long Island, at the Greentree Estate – the site of the two previous rounds of negotiations that took place in June and August of 2007. Last month, Ms. Montas announced that the upcoming discussions will be facilitated by Peter van Walsum, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara. Letters of invitation were extended to Morocco and the Frente Polisario, as well as to neighbouring countries. The second round of talks in August ended with agreement among the parties that the status quo is unacceptable and the process of negotiations will continue. In his October 2007 report on the issue, Mr. Ban said the two sides held mutually exclusive positions that had prevented them from seriously discussing each other’s proposals during the talks. Morocco holds that its sovereignty over Western Sahara should be recognized, while the Frente Polisario’s position is that the Territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum that includes independence as an option. The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has been in the Territory since September 1991 to monitor the ceasefire between Morocco and the Frente Polisario. Last October, the Security Council extended the mandate of MINURSO through April 2008, calling on the two sides “to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to engage in substantive negotiations.” 3 January 2008The United Nations will lead a third round of talks on Western Sahara, bringing together representatives from Morocco and the Frente Polisario, next week outside of New York City. read more

Japans exports fall in June hit by global trade wars

TOKYO — Japan says exports declined in June as shipments of goods were hit by global trade wars.The data released by the Finance Ministry Thursday show Japan’s exports declined 6.8% compared to the same month last year, while imports fell 5.2%.The ministry also reported that the trade surplus for the month totalled 589.5 billion yen ($5.5 billion).For the first six months of this year, Japanese exports slipped 4.7% while imports edged down 1.1%, with the nation logging a trade deficit of 888.8 billion yen ($8.2 billion).The Japanese economy is dependent on exports and has been hurt by the conflict between the U.S. and China.President Donald Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing has countered by taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods.The Associated Press read more

Hungarian derby MKB Veszprem beat PICK Szeged

11. Pécsi VSE184113468–572–1049   4. Grundfos Tatabánya KC181026481–464+1722   5. B.Braun Gyöngyös18648453–488–3516   3. Csurgói KK1914–5504–496+828   9. Ceglédi KKSE185–13475–559–8410   7. Balatonfüredi KSE186111443–488–4513   2. Pick Szeged171511574–415+15931 The biggest match of the Hungarian League took place on wednesday evening between hosts MKB Veszprém who finished first in their CL group, and guest and so far undefeated league leaders Pick Szeged. Even a one-goal victory would have been enough for the home team. Their first meeting in Szeged resulted in a big victory for Pick, but they later squandered their 2-point lead with a draw in Tatabánya. Pick’s task was close to impossible: to gain points in the Veszprém Arena where even THW Kiel were unable to. Veszprém had two missing players: Carlos Perez, who quit and left for Quatar, and pivot Oneto who suffered major injury earlier. Neither side was dominant in the first 15 minutes, both defences were tight (6-5). At around the 20th minute Chema Rodriguez and Jamali came in and Veszprém lead (8-6). In a few minutes however the guest equalized thanks to acrobatic pivot play by Zubai and a goal from Larholm. Pick Szeged tried shaking up the game with a few substitutions but they were unable to score for 6 minutes, which was immediately punished by Veszprém who enjoyed all benefits of home ground. Players of the guest team and coach László Skaliczki voiced their opinion about several strange decisions by the referees, but this only provoked a 2-minute suspension. The biggest difference of the first half came at the 30th minute (13-9).Veszprém decided the fate of the match  after a few minutes into the second half. Pick’s defence was soft, their attacks couldn’t penetrate the home side’s wall. Goals from Sulc and Prodanovic were only enough to keep the difference at 7 goals (21-14). In the remaining 20 minutes Veszprém kept their lead with Pick trying different attack variations without much success. The end result was 30-22, meaning there are no undefeated teams in the championship and Veszprém are most likely to win the regular season. Pick Szeged can try to beat their biggest domestic rival in the play-off and in the Final4 of the Hungarian Cup.Best scorers: Nagy L., Jamali (5-5), Császár (4) / Prodanovic (5), Sulc, Larholm (4-4)Text: Gábor Várkonyi, Péter ButtyMKB VESZPRÉM-PICK-SZEGED 30-22 (13-9)Veszprém, sudije: Andorka i HuckerVESZPRÉM: Fazekas, Alilovic (goalkeepers), Császár 5, Gulyás 1, Iváncsik G., Iváncsik T. 2, Jamali 5, Laluska 3, Nagy L. 5, Z. Pesic, Rodriguez 2, Schuch 2, Strannig, Sulic 2, Terzic, Ugalde 3. COACH: Carlos Ortega.SZEGED: MIKLER, PRODANOVICS 5, Ancsin 3, SULC 4, Zubai Sz. 1, Larholm4 (3), Vadkerti. Csere: Czina, Blazevic, Balogh Zs. 2, Pribanic 2,Kekezovics 1, Buday COACH: Skaliczki László.   8. Váci KSE185–13449–538–8910   6. FTC-PLER18729466–487–2116 10. Orosházi FKSE184113473–523–509 1. MKB Veszprém KC1817–1673–429+24434 MKB VeszpremPick Szeged ← Previous Story SEHA (Round 14): Metalurg wins, RK Vardar and Tatran share points Next Story → Poland: Vive Kielce with a win ahead of the Wisla Plock clash read more