LaDainian Tomlinson calls for racial understanding, asks TCU to lead the charge

first_imgLaDainian Tomlinson speaks next to a bust of him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Colin Post Linkedin World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution Colin Post Twitter Twitter Another series win lands TCU Baseball in the top 5, earns Sikes conference award First TCU spring game since 2018 gets fans primed for a highly-anticipated fall Colin Post Despite series loss, TCU proved they belong against No. 8 Texas Tech ReddIt Colin Post + posts center_img Colin Post Facebook TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Welcome TCU Class of 2025 “Football is a microcosm of America, all races, religions, and creeds living, playing, competing side-by-side,” Tomlinson said during his induction. “When you’re a part of a team, you understand your teammates–their strengths and weaknesses.”This analogy was one Tomlinson connected to TCU as well, saying that people of all different backgrounds are at the university “living, playing, [and] learning side-by-side.”“When you’re a apart of Team TCU, you understand your classmates–their values, their strengths and weaknesses,” Tomlinson said. “The university’s vision and values work toward the same goal: to become the finest person and valued member of society possible.”Confronting the past and finding unity in the present through understanding and love is not a new challenge to Tomlinson, but rather one he has already had to overcome in his own life.As a child, Tomlinson grew up on the very land on which George Tomlinson was enslaved by those with his same last name but a different color of skin. Now, that area is called “Tomlinson Hill,” as LaDanian and his Black family have worked to reconcile with the Tomlinson’s whose ancestors who were on the other side of the whip.The TCU legend shared that, at the prompting of his mother, this reconciliation had come for him at the age of 22, when he went to visit Chris Tomlinson, the great great grandson of George Tomlinson’s slave owner.Their conversation had been one of humbly acknowledging the scars that existed and confidently moving forward as family, and it is that same approach that Tomlinson called for TCU to take going forward.“I firmly believe that God chose me to bring two races together under one name–Tomlinson,” Tomlinson said. “My story is TCU’s story.”Tomlinson referred to parts of TCU’s past as an “ignominy,” saying that putting them under the light for everyone to see is the only way to “assure a more equitable, inclusive future for all at Texas Christian University.”Through all of this, Tomlinson made to take several moments to emphasize his love for TCU, despite it’s shortcomings, and its significant impact in his life.“I am a proud graduate of Texas Christian University,” Tomlinson said. “This university helped mold me into the man I became and the man I continue to strive to be.”What’s Next?Despite the forming of the RRI and similar programs at other schools around the nation, as well as the increase in awareness surrounding the topic of racism in America, Tomlinson said that both TCU and the country as a whole still have a long way to go.“It will never be done. There is nothing that I can say or anyone can say that will stop it all,” Tomlinson said. “It just will never happen, but what happens is we keep bringing awareness to a certain situation. We keep on speaking about peace and love for our neighbors.”In fact, the experience of racism is not one that Tomlinson, even as a celebrity and millionaire, is immune from.The Westlake, Texas, native shared that just a few months ago he was on a hunting trip with three friends, one of whom was also Black, while the others were white. The group met at a gas station before the trip, with Tomlinson alone is his black Lincoln SUV.Though the two cars were together and had just begun to drive, Tomlinson alone was pulled over shortly after for no apparent reason.“There are people that still only see a Black man first. They don’t see that it’s LaDanian Tomlinson,” Tomlinson said in an interview on Tuesday. “I get pulled over, maybe racial profiling, and then, originally, it’s like, ‘Oh no, this is LaDanian.’ Okay, what was the point in pulling me over in the first place?”San Diego Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson (21) runs in the open field against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Tomlinson said that he and many other Black people like him face fears like this everyday not only for themselves but also for their children and generations to come.“What if my kids don’t become well known?” Tomlinson said. “What if they are just great citizens and that happened to them one day? You can easily put yourself in that position because it has happened.”On the other hand, Tomlinson did say that he believes change is coming, though that the concrete nature of the change will only come from the dedicated efforts of corporations, organizations, and everyday from all races.For college students personally, especially those who are white, Tomlinson said that the key is talking to and learning from those who have actually experienced the ways racism effects black people everyday.“In today’s age, if you don’t have a friend that doesn’t look like you, shame on you,” Tomlinson said.In the coming months, the RRI, with Tomlinson by their side, will continue working towards uncovering the truth about TCU’s past and what that means for its present and future.This work all leads up to “Reconciliation Day” (April 21), as the RRI reports on their discoveries and the university takes its first big step in becoming the true “Team TCU.” printWhen the name Tomlinson was first given to George, who was enslaved in the mid-19th century on a Central Texas plantation just over 100 miles from TCU, it was a symbol of his belonging to a white man.Almost 200 years later, the name means something different.George’s great great great grandson is LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, who is using his name and platform to address the effects of racism felt by people of color in America today.“Obviously, I made it to the Hall of Fame, but I always felt like it wasn’t about me making it to the Hall of Fame,” said Tomlinson. Instead, he said it was about helping to move the country forward. Using His Platform for ChangeLast summer, that mission developed a new urgency as the U.S. was swept into a racial crisis following the death of George Floyd while being restrained by a Minnesota police officer. Millions of people, including thousands of athletes and celebrities, renewed calls for social justice.For Tomlinson, the racial conversation of the last nine months echoes what’s been on his mind for years.Tomlinson was 19 when James Byrd Jr. was brutally murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas. He remembers TCU teammate Victor Payne, a Jasper native, having to leave campus for a time following the incident.“That was eye-opening. It was like ‘My God,’” Tomlinson said. “Here we are in ’98 or ’99, and this is really happening. That was the first sign of, man, I need to do more.”Since then, Tomlinson has been looking for ways to use his platform to make people aware of and prevent things like the murder of Byrd.Tomlinson, TCU’s all-time leading rusher and a member of the TCU Board of Trustees, jumped at the opportunity to join the university’s Race and Reconciliation Initiative, which is examining TCU’s relationship with racism, enslavement and the Confederacy.Read More: Race and Reconciliation Initiative begins study into TCU’s historyFormed in July, the RRI was created to undertake the task of confronting TCU’s ties to racist ideals that date back to its founders, Addison and Randolph Clark, who both served in the Confederacy.“I look forward to adding my voice to our collective voice,” Tomlinson said. “Amplifying the values and lessons learned from this initiative.”On Thursday evening, the Horned Frog legend was the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the RRI, speaking for just over 20 minutes on the reality of racial injustice in America and what TCU can do as a school to fight it.Titled “Acknowledging our past, defining our future,” Tomlinson’s speech was focused on healing. He highlighted why the RRI was important for TCU as a university in their journey toward becoming a place where people feel welcome regardless of their skin color.Team TCUThroughout the address, Tomlinson referenced moments from the speech he gave in August of 2017 at his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The former running back had spent the latter portion of his induction speech encouraging the audience to join “Team America” and fight disunity based on color.The speech went viral, and a portion of it was used in a recent NFL commercial that was aired during the super bowl to highlight the league’s efforts to promote change. Linkedin Taylor’s monster slam highlights big weekend for TCU Athletics Previous articleWhat we’re reading: FDA approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Biden lifts immigration banNext articleHoroscope: February 26, 2021 Colin Post RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR ReddIt Facebook Colin Post is a Sports Broadcasting and Journalism double-major from Houston, Texas. Along with sports writing, Colin hopes to work in sports announcing after he graduates.last_img read more

Rowers sparkle with gold in Asian Championship on a Diwali Day

first_img COMMENT 10 months ago Gunasekaran and Shivpal win gold for India in 7th World Military games SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE 10 months ago Gold prices rally Rs 220 on Dhanteras to Rs 39,240 per 10 gram Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Duration 0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackQuality LevelsFullscreenThis is a modal window. This video is restricted from playing on your current domain Error Code: PLAYER_ERR_DOMAIN_RESTRICTED WE RECOMMEND 10 months ago Indian Army soldier bags Gold at Abu Dhabi Open Regatta 2019 10 months ago Haryana: A family has been waiting for stray bull to poop gold Indian rowers offered the nation a Diwali day gift when they signed off the 19th Asian Championships with Gold in the Men’s Lightweight Coxless Four event in Chungju, South Korea on Sunday morning. The quartet of Jasveer Singh, Jegan SekarTeja, Hanamant Shinde and Charanjeet Singh got the better of Hong Kong (silver) and Japanese (bronze) challenge in a thrilling race. With this, India finished at a credible 5th position with five medals – one gold, two silver, and two bronze.READ | England thrash New Zealand 19-7 to enter Rugby World Cup finalsRowers sparkle with goldIn overall medals tally, China topped with eight gold medals, Uzbekistan came second with 3 gold and 3 silver; Iran finished third with two gold and 3 bronze while Japan were fourth with one gold, 2 silver, and 3 bronze. The gold comes in less than 24 hours after India won the bid to host the next edition of the Asian Rowing Championship in Bhopal next year. The decision came in favour of India at the same venue on Saturday. India will be hosting it after a gap of over fourteen years as they last hosted the competition in Hyderabad in 2005.READ | Jimmy Neesham upset over New Zealand loss to Eng in Rugby World CupEarlier on Saturday, Sawarn Singh and Sukhmeet Singh combined well to claim bronze in the men’s double sculls event, winning the first medal for India at the championship. India has been doing consistently well in Rowing in recent times winning an impressive seven gold, five silver and one bronze medal in the recently concluded Asian Rowing Indoor Championship in Thailand. The event, which took place over six days, saw India winning medals in the men, women and juniors category, with a total of eight rowers from the country finishing on the podium. Among the gold medallists were Parminder Singh, Balwinder Singh, Shagandeep Singh, Avinash Kaur, Pratik Gupta, and Mrunmayee Nilesh Salgaonkar.READ | James, Greinke keep Nats off balance, escape trouble for winREAD | Boxer Deepak wins silver, Balaji claims bronze in Military World Games center_img Session ID: 2020-09-09:c0f89bb162f7c231cf0b59a6 Player Element ID: video_player_5f5842e5138e3 OK Close Modal DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen First Published: 27th October, 2019 11:52 IST Written By Last Updated: 27th October, 2019 12:15 IST Rowers Sparkle With Gold In Asian Championship On A Diwali Day Indian rowers offered the nation a Diwali day gift when they signed off the 19th Asian Championships with Gold in the Men’s Lightweight Coxless Four event Suman Ray LIVE TV FOLLOW US 10 months ago “Mary Kom is destined to win Tokyo Olympic gold”: Akhil Kumarlast_img read more

10 months agoLaLiga president Tebas: Barcelona ace Messi proving superior to Ronaldo

first_imgLaLiga president Tebas: Barcelona ace Messi proving superior to Ronaldoby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLaLiga president Javier Tebas hailed the hat-trick performance of Leo Messi for Barcelona’s 5-0 win at Levante on Sunday.Tebas placed the Barcelona star at the very top of football, ahead of Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo. “Anyone who saw the game against Levante, is a football fan and takes off their club colours, we have to open our eyes and say that Messi’s the best player in the world by a difference,” he said. The president added that “it doesn’t matter what team you support, if you criticise Messi and say he’s not the best in the world currently, you don’t understand football.” Asked about the comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo, Tebas, a Madrid fan, was clear: “In this era now he’s way ahead of Ronaldo. That’s now always been the case in other seasons. But he’s leading Barcelona. He keeps taking on responsibility, seemingly with a new-found youth. He’s at an incredible level.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoWolves striker Austin Samuel pens new deal

first_imgWolves striker Austin Samuel pens new dealby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves striker Austin Samuel has penned a new two-and-half year contract.The 18-year-old joined Wolves as an under-8 player, progressing through the Academy system, and will now remain a part of the club until 2021.In 2009 Samuels was spotted by a local scout and first signed for the club in May that year, having previously played locally for Newbridge Rangers.Since then he’s rose as high as under-23 level this season, appearing six times in all competitions for Rob Edwards’ side.The striker netted in victories over Newcastle United and Sunderland, and featured in the Checkatrade Trophy against Mansfield Town’s first-team. He could come into contention for the under-23s’ return to action against West Brom on Monday. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 months agoFulham boss Ranieri: Burnley had three chances and scored two own goals

first_imgFulham boss Ranieri: Burnley had three chances and scored two own goalsby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham boss Claudio Ranieri insists they deserved something from their 2-1 defeat at Burnley.Jeff Hendrick, playing in an unfamiliar right midfield role, had two first half efforts deflected in off Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi to cancel out Andre Schurrle’s stunning second minute goal.Ranier said, “Football is fantastic. We deserved more but that’s football.”They had three chances and scored two own goals. We are alive, we never give up and we continue to fight.”I am satisfied with our performance. We knew it would be a battle, they won so they are right and we are wrong.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Jahlil Okafor Missed A Reverse Dunk, And Coach K Almost Lost His Mind

first_imgCoach K celebrates with the crowd.DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 09: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates with fans after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels 79-73 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 9, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Duke is having no trouble with 16-seed Robert Morris Friday night, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski is still rather unhappy with at least one Blue Devils player on his squad. Freshman big man Jahlil Okafor, arguably the best player in the country, did a little showboating by trying to throw down a reverse dunk early in the second half. Coach K almost lost his mind and pulled him right after.Things get a little tougher for Duke on Sunday – the Blue Devils will get either St. John’s or San Diego State.last_img read more

Traffic Resumes after Bulker Grounds in Bosphorus

first_imgThe 52,980 dwt bulk carrier Star Harmony ran aground in the Bosphorus Strait in the area of Yeniköy, Istanbul, in the morning hours of December 21, according to data provided by GAC Turkey.Prior to the incident, the 189-metre bulk carrier, which was fully laden with corn, suffered an engine failure.Coastal safety tugs had been dispatched to assist the ship and the Bosphorus was closed at 08.20 hours local time to transit traffic.At the time of the incident, the vessel was sailing the Bosphorus without a pilot on board.As the bulker’s position was not affecting vessel traffic in the area, the transits resumed at 09.45 hours.According to AIS data provided by Marine Traffic, the 2002-built vessel was on its way from Istanbul to the port of El Dekheila, Egypt.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,004.40, up 5.83 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 34 cents, or 6.17 per cent, to $5.85 on 15.7 million shares. The marijuana producer is pushing ahead with plans for an all-stock takeover offer for CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:CMED) after failing to reach an agreement with the company’s board. The offer follows an announcement by CanniMed on Friday that it struck an all-stock to deal to acquire Tragically Hip-backed marijuana company Newstrike Resources Ltd. (TSXV:HIP).IC Potash Corp. (TSX:ICP). Agriculture. Up 1.5 cents, or 33.33 per cent, to six cents on 8.7 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Health care. Up 14 cents, or 0.76 per cent, to $18.59 on 5.9 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Unchanged at $3.90 on 4.7 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Oil and gas. Up $1.09, or 2.43 per cent, to $45.95 on 4.5 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Down 49 cents, or 3.78 per cent, to $12.49 on 4.3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP). Oil and gas. Up 97 cents, or 1.55 per cent, to $63.51 on 2.3 million shares. Nebraska regulators approved an alternate route through the state for the company’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It was the last major regulatory hurdle facing the $10-billion, 1,897-kilometre project, though opponents say another round of federal approval may now be needed.last_img read more

Centre justifies law for 10 quota to economically weaker sections

first_imgNew Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday justified in Supreme Court its recent law granting 10-per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), saying it was brought in to promote “social equality” by providing “equal opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status”.The government said the new law will not be covered by the Indra Sawhney versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) of 1992 as provision for reservation was made after amending the Constitution. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”That the Constitution Amendment (103rd) Act 2019 was necessitated to benefit the economically weaker sections of the society who were not covered within the existing schemes of reservation, which as per statistics, constituted a considerably large segment of the Indian population,” an affidavit filed by the Centre said. It said in order to do justice across all weaker sections of the society, “it was therefore considered imperative that the Constitution be appropriately amended to enable the State to extend various benefits, including reservations in educational institutions and public employment to the EWSs of the society who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation…”. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe Centre’s affidavit was filed in connection with a matter where a batch of petitions have challenged the validity of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 on the ground that it is contrary to the decision of this court in Indra Sawhney versus Union of India and violates the basic structure of the Constitution. “It is submitted that the conclusions drawn in Indra Sawhney are inapplicable to the present case as the said judgment was delivered while determining the constitutional validity of certain Office Memorandums issued by the Government of India in the year 1990, which provided for reservations for the backward classes of citizens in services under the State,” it said. The affidavit said the present challenge, however, is in relation to the validity of a constitutional amendment made wherein Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) have been inserted, which did not exist on the book when Indra Sawhney verdict was delivered. “Indra Sawhney verdict and the findings therein can therefore have no application thereafter,” the affidavit said. The Centre contended that merely affecting or impinging upon an Article embodying a feature that is part of the basic structure of the Constitution is not sufficient to declare an amendment unconstitutional. “To sustain a challenge against a constitutional amendment, it must be shown that the very identity of the Constitution has been altered,” it said. The government said the impugned amendment is in conformity with the constitutional principles and therefore does not violates the basic structure doctrine. “That in order to provide reservation to EWS without disturbing the existing reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs, the constitutional amendment has provided for a maximum of 10-per cent reservation for EWSs in addition to the existing reservations. The limit of 50 per cent is only applicable to reservation made under Article 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) and does not apply to Article 15(6),” the affidavit said. It said several committees were set up wherein quantifiable data was collected highlighting the need for having reservation for the economically weaker sections of the society. “Accordingly, the constitutional amendments were necessitated for providing opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status,” it said and added that it was essential that the EWS gets access to these facilities as mandated in the Constitution.last_img read more

No hint of compromise as Syria peace talks enter day two

first_imgMontreux (Switzerland) – Syria’s peace conference moved into a second day Thursday with the warring sides showing no willingness to compromise as global powers seek to engineer head-to-head talks on ending the bloodshed.The biggest push yet to end the conflict was marked by fiery exchanges on day one Wednesday as the regime and the opposition clashed over President Bashar al-Assad’s fate at the UN meeting in Switzerland.Expectations are very low for a breakthrough at the conference, but diplomats believe that simply bringing the two sides together for the first time is a mark of some progress and could be an important first step. After a day of formal speeches set to be followed this week by talks involving the two sides, UN leader Ban Ki-moon urged Syria’s regime and opposition to finally work together at the table.“The world wants an urgent end to the conflict,” Ban said in a closing press conference at the talks in the Swiss town of Montreux on Wednesday. “Enough is enough, the time has to come to negotiate.”But official statements made by the delegations gave no hint of compromise, as the two sides met on the shores of Lake Geneva for the first time since the conflict erupted in March 2011.Branding the opposition “traitors” and foreign agents, Syrian officials insisted Assad would not give up power, while the opposition said he must step down and face trial.“Assad will not go,” Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said on the sidelines of the conference.In his speech, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem surprised observers with a vehement attack on the opposition that went on long beyond the allotted time of less than 10 minutes, forcing Ban to repeatedly ask him to wrap it up.”They (the opposition) claim to represent the Syrian people. If you want to speak in the name of the Syrian people, you should not be traitors to the Syrian people, agents in the pay of enemies of the Syrian people,” Muallem said.Ahmad Jarba, the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, called on the regime to “immediately” sign a deal reached at the last peace conference in Geneva in 2012 setting out “the transfer of powers from Assad, including for the army and security, to a transition government”.Jarba said that would be “the preamble to Bashar al-Assad’s resignation and his trial alongside all the criminals of his regime”.Leading a series of sharp US accusations against the Syrian regime, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Assad could not be part of any transitional government.“There is no way, not possible in the imagination, that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain legitimacy to govern,” Kerry said.US officials also slammed the Syrian delegation for its incendiary remarks.“Instead of laying out a positive vision for the future of Syria that is diverse, inclusive and respectful of the rights of all, the Syrian regime chose inflammatory rhetoric,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius accused the regime of lowering the tone of the discussions, saying its delegation was the only one that was “deaf and blind”.“The situation is very difficult, we couldn’t expect a bed of roses,” Fabius said.At his closing press conference, Kerry said Washington was also pursuing “different avenues” to resolve the conflict alongside peace talks, including “augmented support to the opposition”.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the talks will “not be simple, they will not be quick” but urged both sides to seize a “historic opportunity”.About 40 nations and international bodies were gathered, but no direct talks are expected until possibly Friday — when opposition and regime delegations will meet in Geneva for negotiations that officials have said could last seven to 10 days.The UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, told the closing press conference he would meet on Thursday with both sides to discuss the next step in negotiations.“Tomorrow I am going to meet them separately and see how best we can move forward,” Brahimi said.“Do we go straight into one room and start discussing or do we talk a little bit more separately?… I don’t know yet.”Erupting after the regime cracked down on protests inspired by the Arab Spring, the civil war has claimed more than 130,000 lives and forced millions from the homes.Recent months have seen the conflict settle into a brutal stalemate — with the death toll rising but neither camp making decisive gains.With no one ready for serious concessions, world powers will be looking for short-term deals to keep the process moving forward, including on localised ceasefires, freer humanitarian access and prisoner exchanges.Brahimi said he “had indications” from both sides that they were willing discuss these issues.Notably absent from the table was crucial Assad backer Iran, after Ban reversed a last-minute invitation when the opposition said it would boycott if Tehran took part.Pitting Assad’s regime, dominated by the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam, against largely Sunni Muslim rebels, the war has unsettled large parts of the Middle East.There were stark reminders of the conflict’s impact in the run-up to the talks, with continued fighting on the ground and new evidence in a report alleging that Assad’s forces have systematically killed and tortured 11,000 people.The opposition called at the conference for an international inquiry into the allegations.“We have to stop this spiral of violence. We do call for an international inspection to visit places of detention and see the facts of torture that our citizens face every day,” Jarba said.last_img read more