Joel Embiid scores season-high 50 points in 76ers’ 131-126 victory over Wizards

Joel Embiid scores season-high 50 points in 76ers’ 131-126 victory over Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid shoots against Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, third from right, and forward Deni Avdija (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Washington. The 76ers won 131-126. (AP)
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Updated 07 December 2023
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Joel Embiid scores season-high 50 points in 76ers’ 131-126 victory over Wizards

Joel Embiid scores season-high 50 points in 76ers’ 131-126 victory over Wizards
  • The reigning NBA MVP was 19 of 24 from the field, making a 3-pointer on two attempts, and hit 11 of 13 free throws
  • Luka Doncic had 40 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists playing only three periods after the first first-half triple-double of his career in Dallas’ victory over Utah

WASHINGTON: Joel Embiid scored a season-high 50 points and had 13 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington Wizards 131-126 on Wednesday night.

Embiid reached 50 points for the sixth time in his career. He had a career-best 59 on Nov. 13, 2022, against Utah.

The reigning NBA MVP was 19 of 24 from the field, making a 3-pointer on two attempts, and hit 11 of 13 free throws. He also had seven assists and six turnovers in just over 38 minutes.

Tyrese Maxey added 26 points and also had seven assists, and De’Anthony Melton had 18 points. Kyle Oubre returned after missing 11 games after being struck by a vehicle Nov. 11 in a hit-and-run incident in downtown Philadelphia. He had 12 points in 19 minutes.

Jordan Poole led Washington with 23 points. The Wizards are 3-17.

MAVERICKS 147 JAZZ 97

Luka Doncic had 40 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists playing only three periods after the first first-half triple-double of his career in Dallas’ victory over Utah.

Doncic had his 60th career triple-double to move past Larry Bird for sole possession of ninth place on the career list. It was the first 25-point first-half triple-double in NBA history.

It was the Mavericks’ highest-scoring game this season and two points short of their highest-scoring game ever in regulation. Dallas’ 52-point lead in the closing minutes was one point short of the franchise record set in November 2014 in a 123-70 win over Philadelphia.

Kyrie Irving added 26 points for Dallas. Ochai Agbaji led Utah with 21 points.

GRIZZLIES 116 PISTONS 102

Desmond Bane scored 32 of his career-high 49 points in the second half and Memphis handed Detroit its 18th straight loss.

Detroit is 2-19, with the losing streak the longest in one season in franchise history and second-longest overall behind a 21-game slide at the end of the 1979-80 season and start of 1980-81.

The streak is the longest in the NBA since Houston lost 20 straight in 2020-21. The Philadelphia 76ers hold both NBA records, setting the single-season mark at 26 in a row in 2013-14 and the overall mark at 28 at the end of 2015-16 and start of 2016-17.

Bane was 19 of 31 from the field, hitting 4 of 8 3-pointers, and made seven free throws without a miss. He also had eight assists and six rebounds. His previous scoring high was 38 against Brooklyn on Oct. 24, 2022.

TIMBERWOLVES 102 SPURS 94

Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 21 rebounds and NBA-leading Minnesota held on to beat San Antonio for their fifth straight victory and the Spurs’ 15th loss in a row.

Mike Conley added 18 points, Anthony Edwards had 17 and Naz Reid 15. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds to help Minnesota improve to 16-4. Edwards returned after missing two games because of a right hip pointer, but went 4 of 17 from the field.

Gobert matched up often with good friend and French countryman Victor Wembanyama in the rookie’s first game in Minnesota. Wembanyama struggled against Minnesota’s height with Gobert, Towns and Reid, scoring just 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting. He had 10 rebounds.

CLIPPERS 111 NUGGETS 102

Paul George scored 25 points and Los Angeles rallied to beat Denver and snap an eight-game skid against the defending NBA champion Nuggets.

Jamal Murray scored 23 points for Denver. Jokic had a triple-double with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.

It was Denver’s first loss to the Clippers since Jan. 11, 2022. The Nuggets fell to 5-8 on the road after blowing a 15-point lead in the opening quarter.

NETS 114 HAWKS 113

Mikal Bridges hit the deciding fadeaway jumper with 4.5 seconds remaining and scored 32 points in Brooklyn’s victory over Atlanta.

There were 43 lead changes and 11 ties, with Bridges hitting the decisive shot to give the Nets their fifth win in six games. Atlanta has lost four of five.

Trae Young had 30 points for Atlanta.

WARRIORS 110 TRAIL BLAZERS 106

Stephen Curry overcame a slow start to score 31 points, Jonathan Kuminga dazzled off the bench for 13 points and Golden State rallied to beat Portland.

Kuminga dunked on a pretty alley-oop from Draymond Green with 1:03 left and made all six of his field goals. Kuminga also stole the ball from Toumani Camara with 29 seconds to go and his team ahead 105-104, leading to a 3 by Curry.

Anfernee Simons scored 28 points to lead the Trail Blazers. Shaedon Sharpe added 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, but missed a free throw with 1:18 remaining.

HEAT 112 RAPTORS 103

Caleb Martin had a season-high 24 points and a career-best 12 rebounds, Duncan Robinson scored 21 points and Miami beat Toronto.

Jimmy Butler scored 19 points, Orlando Robinson had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 15 points to help the Heat win for the second time in six games.

Pascal Siakam scored 30 points for Toronto.

ROCKETS 110 THUNDER 101

Dillon Brooks scored 23 points and Houston beat Oklahoma City to end a three-game losing streak.

Aaron Holiday scored a season-high 22 points off the bench and matched a career best with six 3-pointers. He also had six rebounds in 27 minutes.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 33 points on 13-of-18 shooting.

BULLS 111 HORNETS 110

DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points and Chicago beat short-handed Charlotte for its third straight victory following a five-game skid.

Nikola Vucevic had 20 and 11 rebounds for the Bulls and and Coby White added 19 points.

Gordon Hayward scored 27 points for Charlotte, and Terry Rozier had 25.

CAVALIERS 121 MAGIC 111

Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points, Darius Garland added 26 and Cleveland overcame Paolo Banchero’s 42-point night to beat Orlando.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Banchero went 16 of 26 from the field for Orlando, which lost for just the second time in 11 games.


British Council signs agreement to help empower Jordanian youth

British Council signs agreement to help empower Jordanian youth
Updated 9 sec ago
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British Council signs agreement to help empower Jordanian youth

British Council signs agreement to help empower Jordanian youth
  • Project designed to prepare 90 young Jordanians for leadership roles within their communities

AMMAN: The British Council has announced a collaboration with the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development, Jordan News Agency reported on Monday.

The JOHUD is a nonprofit organization focusing on promoting sustainable social, economic, and cultural development in Jordan’s local communities.

The agreement was signed as part of the British Council’s Youth Connect project, which is designed to prepare 90 young Jordanians for leadership roles within their communities.

The agreement will help empower younger Jordanians in the Princess Basma Development Centers in Tafilah and Ma’an in southern Jordan, through specialized training sessions in communication skills.

Alexander Lambert, who is Jordan director at the British Council, spoke of the importance of the project as a milestone in the deep-rooted partnership between the council and the JOHUD.

The partnership with the British Council “added to the purposeful and fruitful partnerships that combine efforts with various local institutions to contribute to achieving national goals to enhance the role of youth and women in society,” JOHUD’s Executive Director Farah Daghistani said.
 


Jordanian, Irish educational institutions discuss collaboration

Jordanian, Irish educational institutions discuss collaboration
Updated 12 min 33 sec ago
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Jordanian, Irish educational institutions discuss collaboration

Jordanian, Irish educational institutions discuss collaboration
  • Talks include joint scientific projects and research, faculty and student exchange programs

AMMAN: Officials from Jordan and Ireland met on Monday to discuss cooperation on higher education and scientific research, Jordan News Agency reported.
Vice President of the University of Jordan (Aqaba) Nazeeh Btoush held talks with Irish Ambassador to Jordan Marianne Bolger.
Bolger proposed several collaborative opportunities, including carrying out joint scientific projects and research, implementing faculty and student exchange programs, and promoting the exchange of scientific information.
Btoush highlighted the university’s dedication to establishing international partnerships, pointing out the mutual benefits of exchanging knowledge and experience.
He highlighted the significance of such collaborations in enhancing the university’s educational and research activities.
Bolger expressed the Irish embassy’s keenness to forge strong links with Jordanian educational institutions, praising the university’s distinguished reputation and array of scientific units and centers.
UoJ Aqaba specializes in marine science and is involved in research and monitoring initiatives. The aim is to establish environmental baselines along the Jordanian coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba, while also tackling applied coastal and marine research.
 


Jeddah art exhibition highlights students’ creative odyssey

Layal Alireza's work explores the concepts of identity and culture, drawing inspiration from old Jeddah as a foundational elemen
Layal Alireza's work explores the concepts of identity and culture, drawing inspiration from old Jeddah as a foundational elemen
Updated 36 min 43 sec ago
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Jeddah art exhibition highlights students’ creative odyssey

Layal Alireza's work explores the concepts of identity and culture, drawing inspiration from old Jeddah as a foundational elemen
  • “The real challenge lies in sustaining motivation and consistently producing top-tier work over the two-year period, akin to a marathon rather than a sprint"

JEDDAH: The inaugural IB2 Visual Art Exhibition at the British International School of Jeddah opened with a display of 70 pieces created by eight students.

The exhibition, which runs until March 7, features diverse themes and art forms including painting, printmaking, photography, digital art, sculpture and installations. The works reflect each artist’s unique journey.

Head of Secondary School Pierre Scottorn said the art section of the International Baccalaureate diploma was very demanding: “Every student studying art in the program is featured in this exhibition. Over two years, they must create a comprehensive portfolio of work that includes a significant written component. (It) is not just a creative subject; it is highly academic. Students carefully curate their exhibition space, explaining the reasoning behind their artistic choices. Their grades are based not only on their artwork but also on the written explanations and overall presentation of the exhibition.”

Layal Alireza's work explores the concepts of identity and culture, drawing inspiration from old Jeddah as a foundational element of her family history. (Supplied)

He added: “The purpose of this exhibition is to showcase the exceptional talent of our students and the high-quality teaching that supports them. It is a celebration of their hard work and dedication.”

Scottorn also highlighted the diverse career paths students could subsequently pursue.

“Some students will continue their studies in art at university, while others will pursue different careers such as fashion or architecture. Our students have been successful in gaining admission to top universities globally, thanks to the high standards of their work. The quality of their art significantly impacts their university applications and future opportunities,” he said.

Layal Alireza's work explores the concepts of identity and culture, drawing inspiration from old Jeddah as a foundational element of her family history. (Supplied)

“The real challenge lies in sustaining motivation and consistently producing top-tier work over the two-year period, akin to a marathon rather than a sprint. This challenge extends to both students and teachers, requiring ongoing support and encouragement.”

Scottorn said he wanted his school to become a leader in the arts and added he valued partnerships with other organizations and individuals that would support this. He also hopes to introduce an artist-in-residence program in due course.

Shehzia Khan, head of visual art, shared insights into the depth and personalization of the students’ higher level art projects.

(L to R) Jude Kayal, Ayesha Rehman, Mayar Abdul Nnabi, Mrs. Shehzia Khan, Loulwa Al-Banna, Shahad El-Adawy, Sara Kreidieh, Mashael Iqbal. (Supplied)

“All the students participating in this exhibition are enrolled in higher level art. This year, they explored deeply personal themes showcasing a diverse range of subjects including fame, journeys, stages of life, empowerment of Saudi women, freedom, addiction, the human body, and culture and identity,” she said.

“Each student has chosen a theme close to their heart, demonstrating individualized and passionate explorations. The IB program offers students the freedom to choose their artistic direction after mastering foundational skills in oil painting, graphic design and sculpture.”

Khan said the exhibition served as the final exam, where each student had to display a minimum of eight pieces, curate their display, and provide detailed curatorial rationale and exhibition texts.

Mashael Iqbal, one of the exhibiting students, said: “I aimed to challenge the norms and shed light on the complexities of fame. By delving into themes of sexualization, method acting, and the darker side of celebrity lifestyles, I strived to provoke thought and evoke emotions. Each element in my exhibition represents a facet of the industry that often goes unnoticed. My passion for art and storytelling drives me to consider a future in the creative field, with a keen interest in exploring animation and digital media.”

Saudi art student Sara Kreidieh added: “My exhibition theme centers on the human body, delving into deeper dimensions beyond the physical aspects typically associated with it. Through my artwork, I aim to shed light on masculinity, the reluctance to seek help, confused identities, and societal issues such as racism, emotions, stress, and body dysmorphia. My collection includes paintings, photography, digital pieces and sculptures. I plan to pursue studies in architecture and eventually return to Saudi Arabia for professional work in the field.”

Even the school’s nursery level pupils are part of the exhibition. Helen Elhoss, head of early years, said: “Our children begin their art journey at two years old. Guided by the Reggio Emilia approach, children are encouraged to explore diverse avenues for expressing their creativity and thoughts.

“The theme of our exhibition was centered around community. Some of our children ventured into the community to understand its significance to them. They then represented their interpretations incorporating elements like nature.”

 


Hamas says it presses on with Gaza truce talks without Israelis

Hamas says it presses on with Gaza truce talks without Israelis
Updated 40 min 25 sec ago
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Hamas says it presses on with Gaza truce talks without Israelis

Hamas says it presses on with Gaza truce talks without Israelis
  • Ceasefire talks billed as a final hurdle to establish first extended ceasefire of five-month-old war in time for Ramadan 
  • Washington appeared to take a tougher line in demanding its ally Israel ease the plight of suffering civilians

CAIRO/RAFAH: Hamas said on Monday it was pressing on with talks on securing a ceasefire in Gaza despite Israel’s decision not to attend, while Washington appeared to take a tougher line in demanding its ally Israel ease the plight of suffering civilians.
The ceasefire talks, which began on Sunday in Cairo, are billed as a final hurdle to establish the first extended ceasefire of the five-month-old war, in time for the Ramadan Muslim fasting month which is expected to begin on Sunday.
Israel has declined public comment on the Cairo talks or its decision not to attend. A source had earlier told Reuters Israel would stay away because Hamas had refused its request for a list of names of all hostages it is holding that are still alive, information the militants say they will provide only once terms are agreed.
“Talks in Cairo continue for the second day regardless of whether the occupation’s delegation is present in Egypt,” a Hamas official told Reuters on Monday.
Washington, which is both Israel’s closest ally and a sponsor of the talks, says a deal remains close, with an agreement already effectively agreed by Israel and only awaiting approval from Hamas.
“Hamas claims it wants a ceasefire. Well, there is a deal on the table. And as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal,” Vice President Kamala Harris said on Sunday. “Let’s get a ceasefire. Let’s reunite the hostages with their families. And let’s provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza.”
In a speech signalling an apparent change of tone from the administration of President Joe Biden toward its ally, Harris also used unusually forceful language to call for Israel to do more to alleviate the humanitarian plight of the Gaza Strip.
“People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act,” she said. “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. No excuses.”
A Palestinian official close to the talks disputed the US contention that Israel had agreed to the ceasefire deal and Hamas was holding it up, saying the position appeared aimed at deflecting blame away from Israel should the talks collapse.
“The Palestinian resistance, led by Hamas, has shown the flexibility needed, but at the same time they are determined to defend their people and achieve a deal that is acceptable to the Palestinian people,” the official said.
The proposal being discussed is for a ceasefire of around 40 days, during which militants would release around 40 of the more than 100 hostages they are still holding in return for around 400 detainees held in Israeli jails.
Israeli troops would pull back from some areas, more humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza, and residents would be permitted to return to abandoned homes.
But the deal does not appear to address directly a Hamas demand for a clear path to permanently ending the war. Nor does it resolve the fate of more than half of the remaining hostages — Israeli men excluded from both this and earlier agreements covering women, children, the elderly and the wounded.
Israel says it will not end the war until Hamas is eradicated. Hamas says it will not free all its hostages without a deal that ends the war. Mediators have indicated they hope to overcome the standoff with promises to resolve further issues in later phases.

Rafah strike kills family
The Gaza war erupted after Hamas fighters who control the enclave burst into Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and abducting 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.
Since then, Israel has sealed off the coastal strip, stormed nearly all of its towns and pounded it from the sky. Palestinian authorities say more than 30,000 people have been confirmed killed, with thousands of other bodies unrecovered. Most of the population has been made homeless, and the United Nations says hundreds of thousands of people face famine.
An agreement to halt fighting by Ramadan would effectively head off a threatened Israeli assault on Rafah, the last town on the southern edge of Gaza, where more than half of the enclave’s population are now sheltering, mostly in makeshift tents.
The final days leading up to that deadline have been particularly bloody. Residents have described heavy fighting since Saturday just north of Rafah in Khan Younis, the main southern city, where Israeli forces have released video showing buildings obliterated in airstrikes.
In Rafah itself, airstrikes on homes have been killing families nightly as they sleep. At least 14 corpses of a family killed overnight were laid out at a hospital morgue in Rafah on Monday morning. One of the body bags was partially unzipped so weeping relatives could stroke the hair of a dead child.
Israel’s Channel 14 News reported on Monday that several officers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson’s unit were leaving their jobs, including chief international spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht. It said the large number leaving at once at a time of war was unusual.
The military denied media reports that chief spokesperson Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari had resigned, but did not directly comment on reports of other officers leaving the unit. “The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit continues to fulfil its mission of sharing the truth with transparency and accuracy, while countering misinformation — including baseless claims such as these,” it said in a statement.


Houthis attack ship off Yemen’s Aden

Houthis attack ship off Yemen’s Aden
Updated 40 min 50 sec ago
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Houthis attack ship off Yemen’s Aden

Houthis attack ship off Yemen’s Aden
  • Vessel reported an incident around 91 nautical miles southeast of Yemen’s port city of Aden
  • UN official said that attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militia on ships in the Red Sea have quadrupled global shipping costs and cut cargo movement by 30 percent

AL-MUKALLA: The UK Maritime Trade Operations agency cautioned ships crossing the Red Sea on Monday to exercise care after a vessel reported an incident around 91 nautical miles southeast of Yemen’s port city of Aden.

This came as a UN official said on Monday that attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militia on ships in the Red Sea have quadrupled global shipping costs and cut cargo movement by 30 percent. 

Oleg Kobyakov, director of the office for liaison with Russia at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told the Russian news agency TASS that what he called the Houthis’ “blockade” of the Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandab Strait has led to an increase in the price of goods across the globe, hurt the movement of goods, increased fuel bills for ships by an average of 15 percent, and pushed many shipping companies into taking the “8,000 km” route through the Cape of Good Hope to travel between Asia and Europe to avoid Houthi attacks. 

“The blockade of Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea by the Houthis is hurting global food trade. The cost of chartering a ship to travel along this route has almost quadrupled while cargo traffic has dropped by 30 percent,” he said.

Since November, the Houthis have targeted scores of commercial and naval ships going through international seas near Yemen, seized a commercial ship, and blocked the Red Sea before all Israel-bound ships. The Houthis claim their assaults are intended to push Israel to break its embargo on Gaza. 

On Feb. 18, Houthi missiles targeted the MV Rubymar, a Belize-flagged and Lebanese-operated ship, severely damaging it and triggering a big oil leak in the Red Sea.

The ship, carrying more than 21,000 tonnes of fertilizer, sank on Saturday, raising global fears about a possible environmental disaster in the Red Sea as well as hazards to trade along the critical route.

Similarly, the Houthis have accused the US of exaggerating the environmental damage of the ship and its contents. 

The ship’s around 21,000 tonnes of ammonium phosphate sulfate fertilizer are good for fish and coral reefs, as well as helping plants grow in seawater, according to Houthi media official Nasr Al-Din Amer, who purportedly cited a study by an “international” fertilizer production business. 

Amer said in a post on X that the study “refutes American propaganda about the ‘Red Sea disaster.’” 

Meanwhile, the Houthis have announced the mobilization of thousands of fighters in the central province of Marib under the banner of “supporting people in Palestine,” raising concerns in Yemen that the Houthis are using public outrage over Israel’s war in Gaza to resume a military offensive in Marib.

The Houthis said on Sunday that 4,000 of their armed militants journeyed for three days and 100 km from the Harf Sufyan District in the province of Amran to Marib’s Majzar District, where they would settle in preparation for instructions from their commanders to “reinforce” Palestinians.

Another 2,500 infantry Houthi men marched from the same Amran province to Marib on Saturday, allegedly to help Palestinians, according to Houthi official media.

Between January 2021 and April 2022, thousands of civilians and combatants were killed in the province of Marib when the Houthis began a massive military assault to capture control of the region.

Despite moving closer to the city, the Houthis lost thousands of men, failed to seize Marib, and were forced to halt their attack in April 2022 under a UN-brokered ceasefire.

With the current Houthi military rallies outside Marib, Yemen’s government authorities have raised the alarm about a possible Houthi assault on the city under the pretext of battling Israel.