New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams pays tearful tribute to Christchurch mosque attack victims

Sonny Bill Williams was the first Muslim to represent the All Blacks. (AFP)
Updated 15 March 2019
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New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams pays tearful tribute to Christchurch mosque attack victims

CHRISTCHURCH: Tearful rugby star Sonny Bill Williams said he hoped the victims of the Christchurch mosque massacre were in "paradise" in an emotional video tribute on Friday.
The devout Muslim wiped away tears several times in the brief footage which he filmed sitting in a car.
Police reported multiple deaths in attacks on two crowded mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch, where Williams played for the Crusaders earlier in his career.
"Just heard the news. I couldn't put it into words how I'm feeling right now," the World Cup-winning All Blacks centre said in the video posted on Twitter.
"Inshallah (God willing) everyone who's been killed today... you guys are all in paradise," he added.
"Just deeply, deeply saddened that this would happen in New Zealand."


Sex abuse in UN peacekeeping drops, up elsewhere: report

A UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) liaison fixes her colleagues hat as they attend the UNIFLIS's 40th anniversary celebration at its base in Lebanon's southern border town of Naqura on the border with Israel, south of Beirut, on March 19, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 10 min 30 sec ago
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Sex abuse in UN peacekeeping drops, up elsewhere: report

  • Guterres said the increase in those allegations was possibly due to "awareness-raising" and improved reporting by the 30 U.N. agencies, funds and programs

UNITED NATIONS: Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in U.N. peacekeeping missions decreased in 2018 — but allegations against other U.N. personnel and against staff of organizations implementing U.N. programs increased, according to a U.N. report released Monday.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the U.N. General Assembly circulated Monday that the alleged victims were mainly women and children.
The United Nations has long been in the spotlight over allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, especially those based in Central African Republic and Congo. But the latest figures demonstrate again that sexual misconduct spans the entire U.N. system and beyond to outside organizations helping to implement its programs on the ground.
Guterres stressed the U.N.'s "zero-tolerance" policy and said he has embarked on "a cultural transformation" to eliminate sexual abuse and exploitation throughout the U.N. system, which comprises more than 90,000 staff and over 100,000 uniformed personnel.
According to the report, the number of cases in U.N. peacekeeping and political missions dropped to 54 in 2018 from 62 in 2017, and from 104 reported cases in 2016. It said 74 percent of the allegations in 2018 came from the U.N. peacekeeping forces in Central African Republic and Congo, and the remaining 24 percent from the peacekeeping missions in Mali, Haiti, Liberia and South Sudan.
By comparison, there were 94 reported cases of sexual exploitation elsewhere in the United Nations system, and 109 allegations involving U.N. partner organizations, the report said.
Guterres said the increase in those allegations was possibly due to "awareness-raising" and improved reporting by the 30 U.N. agencies, funds and programs.
The U.N. chief stressed that continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse "harms those we serve, undermines the United Nations values and principles and tarnishes the reputation of the women and men who work with integrity and dedication to realize the objectives of the organization."