Emma Watson visits Malawi to fight child marriages TALK AFRICA: Africa’s child marriages Malawian President Peter Mutharika has signed into law a ban on child marriage, months after lawmakers passed a bill raising the marrying age to 18.Rights activists say Malawi has one of the world’s highest rates of child marriage, with some girls as young as nine or ten are married off even though the marriage age was previously set at 16.The new law carries a 10-year prison sentence for anyone who marries under the age of 18.A coalition of local and international NGOs promoted the bill, saying child marriage traps girls, their families and communities into a cycle of inter-generational poverty.Women rights campaigners hailed the move as “a great day for Malawian girls” and said the law would help boost development in one of the world’s poorest countries.But they warned Malawi would not end child marriage without concerted efforts to tackle poverty and end harmful traditional practices like early sexual initiations.Related Zimbabwe to ban child marriages
MINNEAPOLIS >> The bond started when D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns first squared off as high school phenoms. It continued when they lived together last summer and swapped stories about their NBA pre-draft workouts. And it has evolved as this year’s No. 1 pick (Towns) has traveled a different path than the No. 2 selection (Russell).The Lakers (3-19) enter Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (8-12) at Target Center with Russell averaging 10.9 points on 40.6 percent shooting, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 27.4 minutes. He also will play a reserve role for the second consecutive contest.“The one thing I know about D’Angelo Russell is he is a team player and he just wants to win,” Towns said. “He wants to win at everything. He’s willing to do whatever it takes for his team to win.”Towns enters the same game averaging 14.8 points on 52.8 percent shooting (second among rookies) and 9.1 rebounds (first among rookies) in 27.8 minutes per game. He will start at center with superior post moves and a dependable 3-point shot, while learning under a future Hall of Famer (Kevin Garnett). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “He’s in a great position. He’s with vets over there,” Russell said of Towns. “He looks good. It looks like Garnett has taken him under his wing.”Through Towns’ emergence and Russell’s struggles, the two have maintained a steady dialogue. They congratulate each other on breakout games. They console each other when they experience rookie hiccups. Towns has mostly experienced the former scenario. He earned the NBA’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month award after posting six double-doubles in six of his first eight games and impressing interim coach Sam Mitchell with his post presence. In Monday’s loss to the Clippers, Towns made all three of his 3-point attempts. “I always keep something under my sleeve,” Towns said. “Threes are now becoming something I have taken out of my bag of tricks. Hopefully I can take another one out soon.”But as Towns hopes to expand his game. Russell is just trying to make sure he starts and stays in them. Russell’s demotion to the bench in Monday’s loss to Toronto marked the first time he served in that role since doing it in four preseason games. But it has become common for Russell to sit on the bench in the waning minutes of games. It has even become common for him to miss entire fourth quarters amid double-digit losses or defeats decided in the final moments. “He’s in a great position. He’s with vets over there,” Russell said of Towns. “I’m in a great position, too. We just have yet to figure it out.”It did not appear Russell felt that way moments earlier. Just as he gushed about playing with more freedom without Kobe Bryant’s presence, Russell noted he still played the off-ball position to accommodate seldom-used ball-handling guard Marcelo Huertas. Before tipoff, Russell also remarked, “Hopefully I can look back at this and laugh at it.” If not?“I wish him the best anytime he needs to talk to somebody,” Towns said of Russell. “I’ve always been that brother. I’m rooting him on constantly and being that number one fan.”That happened even when Towns and Russell squared off in high school. Russell led Montverde Academy, a prep school in central Florida, to a 79-70 victory over Towns’ St. Joseph Metuchen (N.J.) on Feb. 2014. Russell posted 24 points and seven assists, while Towns had 22 points and 11 rebounds.“We never let that go,” Russell said, smiling.But that competitive fire soon turned into a friendship. So much that Towns called Russell “one of the best human beings on this planet.” So much that Russell called Towns “a guy I would let my daughter date if I had one.”They both signed with the same sports agency (CAA) entering the NBA Draft. They lived together during pre-draft workouts. As each prospect traveled from city to city, Towns and Russell traded insider tips on what to expect from each team’s workout.“We push each other to be great,” Towns said. “He never felt he would be in this position in life, not just to be a top-five pick but to be in the NBA Draft. He never felt like he had the cards in his hands.”Russell does not have the cards in his hands again. But he has one trusted friend to help him play with the ones he’s dealt.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt was that kind of game.So little was going right even before tipoff, as the Lakers had to play without LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, and the Suns were without DeAndre Ayton. The style of play — sloppy and undisciplined — was a sign of just how much star power was missing in action.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Without their two top scorers, the Lakers had to look further down the bench for help.The most unstoppable weapon was Brandon Ingram, who was 9 for 11 from the field for 22 points, driving to the rim against a soft Suns interior, without Ayton to help challenge. He added four assists in the effort. The only thing that slowed him down was his own propensity to foul: He played just 32 minutes, getting his fifth foul in the first minute of the fourth quarter.Recently elevated to the starting lineup, Ivica Zubac also looked like a star against an inferior opponent. The 7-footer found little resistance around the rim on his way to 24 points and 16 rebounds to go with four blocks to help lock down the paint.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was also consistent for the Laker on catch-and-shoot attempts, knocking down 24 points — many of which came on the end of Rajon Rondo’s 11 assists.It was the second straight game that Rondo had double-digit assists since he’s returned from 14 games out with a sprained ring finger. Walton seemed relieved to have at least one of his generals back on the floor.“It’s like playing with a good quarterback,” he said. “He knows how to lead you where you like to catch it, the type of zip to put on a pass. Those types of things, you get more comfortable. That’s why we’ve missed him so much this year.”The Lakers led by as much as 17 points. The Suns never led at all.There was a fourth-quarter stretch when the game was starting to look dicey, as the Suns crept to within six points. That was when Stephenson’s virtuouso night served the Lakers well: He had 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, finishing with 7 of 10 shooting.“I’ve told him before, he’s got the power to really affect the group both in a positive way and a negative way,” Walton said. “It’s how he uses that power, that energy, because he just has that personality.”It helped that the Lakers employed a blitz strategy on scoring maestro Devin Booker, who had to shoot 18 times to get his 21 points. But Walton said he was frustrated by ill-timed fouls, such as hand-checks and charges, that allowed the Suns to stay in the game. Phoenix was 27 for 32 from the line.But all in all, with as few bodies as they could wield, Walton thought the Lakers did well enough just to win, after a run of three straight losses. Any victory, even ugly, is a needed one as the Lakers trudged over the 50-game mark.“It’s tough to assess it but I think I love our mental toughness, having been able to kind of get through it,” Rondo said. “We’ve had some tough stretches but the season, it’s a long season. And if we can continue to try to go into the [All-Star break] with a little momentum and then come back after the break, we’ll be fine.” PreviousLos Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, goes up for a dunk as Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Michael Beasley, second from left, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, and forward Richaun Holmes, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, right, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, right, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Richaun Holmes defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, center, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, left, and forward Michael Beasley defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac, right, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender, left, and Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac reach for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Actors Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Phoenix Suns forward Richaun Holmes, left, shoos as Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, second from right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac, second from left, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, goes up for a dunk as Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 10Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, goes up for a dunk as Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES – This brutal stretch of Lakers basketball in January can use some levity wherever it can be found.On Sunday night, Lance Stephenson’s fourth-quarter air guitar seemed to fit that bill.The moment he launched his third 3-pointer of the night, Stephenson ran down the sideline for his signature celebration, stopping to rip a solo for a few seconds. The Staples Center fans, who moments before had been relatively quiet while enduring a mud-slinging contest between two struggling teams, broke out in jovial applause.“Once you get the crowd going,” Stephenson said, “we are definitely unstoppable.” How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed But Stephenson was one of the Lakers (26-24) who kept a 116-102 victory from tumbling out of his team’s control on Sunday night. And he even helped make it worth watching — kind of.“We didn’t play the cleanest of games,” coach Luke Walton said. “But we found a way to win, and we needed a win.”The Lakers managed to win relatively comfortably (something that hasn’t happened often in the 16 games James has missed) against the Western Conference cellar-dwellers Suns, who they had clobbered twice before. There was more frustrating injury news in the game, as Josh Hart asked to be taken out during the second half while dealing with knee tendinitis — Walton said he expected Hart would not practice on Monday. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error