Ban calls on all Afghans to cast their votes in tomorrows elections

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that by participating in the elections, “the Afghan people will help Afghanistan strengthen its democratic institutions, bring fresh vigour to the country’s political life, and ultimately reaffirm their commitment to contribute to the peace and prosperity of their nation.”He also called on all election candidates, their supporters, political party agents and both domestic and international observers “to continue to cooperate with the Independent Election Commission, other relevant Afghan institutions and international stakeholders supporting electoral preparations, to ensure a smooth and successful electoral process.”Afghanistan has been beset by violence during the election campaign, including two suicide bomb attacks since the weekend in the capital, Kabul. In the latest attack, which occurred yesterday, two United Nations staff members were among those killed.Earlier this month a report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) found that the prevailing insecurity was affecting preparations for the elections, especially for women.Tomorrow’s elections will feature an estimated 40 presidential candidates and another 3,195 candidates for the provincial council. 19 August 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all eligible Afghan men and women to cast their ballots in tomorrow’s presidential and provincial elections, saying their votes will play a crucial role in helping the country on the path towards greater stability and democracy. read more

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Softball Ohio State sweeps doubleheader against Penn State

Ohio State junior Lilli Piper rounds third base with the intent to score against Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternPenn State was unable to answer to Ohio State’s offense on Wednesday, dropping both games of a double-header by a combined score of 16-5. The Buckeyes improved to 26-8 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten after dispatching the Nittany Lions, one of the worst teams in the conference.Game OneThe Buckeyes came alive in the sixth inning, scoring five runs runs in the bottom of the frame en route to a 9-1 win in the first game of the double-header.With just four hits and three walks, Penn State had no response to the Buckeyes’ offensive prowess..“I think our pitching was clutch when they had runners on and I think we were offensively clutch when we had runners on,” Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. “The combination of those two things limited their runs and helped us get the runs we needed.”Junior right fielder Bri Betschel got the scoring started in the sixth inning with a two-run triple to five the Buckeyes a 6-1 lead. Freshman third baseman Niki Carver followed up the triple with a single that brought Betschel home.Senior center fielder Taylor White joined the hit parade with a triple to center field that scored Carver. White later scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-1.Although the sixth was the most eventful inning, the Buckeyes also scored two runs in the bottom of the first and one each in the third and fourth innings.Junior second baseman Emily Clark hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, driving in her 100th-career run.Senior left fielder Bailee Sturgeon scored on Clark’s home run and also crossed home plate in the third inning. Sturgeon hit the first triple of her career, then scored on a wild pitch.Senior pitcher Shelby McCombs struck out 10 batters in the winning effort and contributed to the scoring with a home run in the bottom of the fourth.Game Two:Though Ohio State managed 11 hits in the second game of the double-header compared to just nine in the first game, it was unable to cash in as frequently, leading to just a 7-4 victory..Despite the 11-hit performance, Clark, who went 0-for-4, said the Penn State senior pitcher Jessica Cummings kept the Buckeyes guessing during her complete game.“The first pitcher that we faced in the first game, we were kind of all over her and we were able to pick up her pitches pretty well,” said Clark. “The second pitcher was more spin-y and had us second guessing in and out.”Cummings allowed seven runs on 11 hits with two wild pitches, four hit batsmen and four walks.The second game went back and forth with each team answering the other’s runs. But Ohio State put up three runs in the fourth inning and two in the sixth, which proved to be the difference-maker in the win.Penn State scored a pair of runs in the third inning when sophomore pinch hitter Delaney Elling singled up the middle.Two of Ohio State’s runs came from senior first baseman Ashley Goodwin’s home run in the fourth, which was also her 100th career hit. Two additional runs came in the sixth, when Betschel tripled for an RBI allowing sophomore pinch runner Andi Farrah to score. White followed that up with a single to bring Betschel home. Eight of Ohio State’s 11 hits came off the bats of White, Sturgeon and McCombs, who combined to go 8-for-11.Next UpThe Buckeyes head to Evanston, Illinois, next to take on Northwestern in a three-game series beginning on at 4:30 p.m. Friday. read more

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