Because Morocco and Israel don’t currently have diplomatic relations, meetings have been difficult to facilitate. In fact, last week was the first time scientists from both countries met for the project, Metz said.“We have long-term relationships with both parties,” said Ed Kanemasu, director of international agriculture at UGA, who facilitated last week’s meeting. “And we are not set back by the political issues that have been a constraint to both countries since the beginning of this project. Our role is to help move the project forward.”“The program was conceived for peace,” Metz said. “Three years ago MERC would have insisted that partners from each country visit each other in their native countries. That is not currently a feasible requirement. Fortunately we have found some creative ways to continue direct interactions, otherwise many scientists could have been shut out by the current political climate.” By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaDespite renewed outbreaks of violence that have brought Middle East peace talks to a standstill, a smaller peace project that brings Israeli and Moroccan scientists together to exchange the seeds of peace took a big step forward recently. Scientists from the Israeli Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Morocco’s National University of Agriculture met at the University of Georgia campus in Athens on May 15 to discuss exchanging plants with potential commercial viability that grow well in the arid, saline soil conditions common to all Middle Eastern countries.“Our goal is to find trees and other plants that have some economic benefit, whether it’s nutritional, environmental or medicinal, that flourish in the Middle East,” said David Lehrer, director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. “But the real benefit is the fact that we’re learning to trust each other. We are getting to know the people behind the headlines we read about in the paper.”Sustainable, collegial relationships is precisely the goal of the Middle East Regional Cooperation program of the U.S. Agency for International Development which funded the project, said Mathew Metz, a diplomacy fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.“We don’t fool ourselves that this will create peace in the Middle East,” Metz said, “but projects like this can nourish relationships between people in leadership roles in these countries while peace is being built.”The project started two years ago, just as the most recent Palestinian uprising began. In the ensuing months, relations between Israel and most Arab countries in the Middle East have eroded – Morocco froze diplomatic relations with Israel – and the scientists involved in the project haven’t had an easy time, Metz said.“It has been an uncomfortable situation at times, but we want it to work,” said Ali Lansari Morocco’s lead researcher. “There are no relations between the two countries. But I am a scientist, and what I am doing is a benefit to my country. I am not doing politics.”Since countries in the Middle East have many common issues and problems, such as drought and rural economic development, MERC was designed to support projects in which scientists collaborate to find solutions for their mutual benefit, Metz said. For this project, each country chose crops that are salt and drought tolerant, and have potential value as fresh food, raw materials and value-added projects. Each country brings a certain expertise to the table. Morocco has a collection of native plants that are both salt and drought tolerant including the endemic Argania spinosa, a nut tree that produces an oil with both edible and medicinal properties. Israel has investigated and acquired drought tolerant plants from different countries around the world, including India, Peru and South Africa. The project allows each country to benefit from the other’s research.
Patrick Mahomes reveled in proving, yet again, he was deserving of the No. 2 pick Chicago spent on Mitchell Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft as he and the Chiefs easily dispatched the Trubisky-led Bears 26-3 at Soldier Field.As he returned to the sideline after one of his three total touchdowns Sunday night, Mahomes counted to 10 on his fingers, an apparent nod to the No. 10 spot from which the Chiefs (11-4) drafted him. The reigning league MVP was 23 for 33 for 251 yards and two scores through the air. MORE: Watch select NFL games live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)Fun fact: Patrick took his college number 5 and added 10 to it for his current number.Wonder why 🤔 pic.twitter.com/reAFxsrFRa— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 23, 2019The Chiefs’ first drive of the night went 82 yards and lasted nearly eight minutes, ending with Mahomes’ scrambling into the end zone from 14 yards out. They added a field goal on their next trip and pieced together a 95-yard touchdown drive — extended by a Chicago penalty for running into the punter — to take a 17-0 lead to halftime.VIDEO: Chiefs-Bears highlightsChicago (7-8) struggled to get off the field on third down, allowing Kansas City to convert six of its 11 tries, including some backbreaking third-and-longs early.The Bears’ offense was tepid, gaining 234 total yards; Trubisky was 18 for 33 for 157 yards.The Chiefs’ victory keeps them one game above the Texans in the race for the No. 3 seed in the AFC. A Kansas City win or Houston loss next week would secure that spot for Mahomes and the Chiefs.Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from the “Sunday Night Football” Week 16 matchup. Follow along below.Chiefs vs. Bears final score Q1Q2Q3Q4FChiefs7100926Bears00303Chiefs vs. Bears updates, highlightsFinal: Chiefs 26, Bears 311:02 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, Chiefs. Kansas City adds to the lead. Chiefs 26, Bears 3.10:33 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Chiefs. In case the result wasn’t already clear, Mahomes to Damien Williams for a 14-yard score. Double-doink and the extra point is no good, though, so that’s fun. Chiefs 23, Bears 3.. @PatrickMahomes third total TD of the night puts the @Chiefs up 23-3. #ChiefsKingdom📺: #KCvsCHI on NBC📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/oKSy2RrKGc pic.twitter.com/z8DmJ2XpCl— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 2019End third quarter: Chiefs 17, Bears 310:24 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, Bears. Chicago gets on the board headed to the fourth quarter. Chiefs 17, Bears 3.10:11 p.m.: TURNOVER ON DOWNS, Bears. Chicago goes for it on fourth-and-goal from the 4, but Trubuisky’s pass is broken up. Fifteen plays and over seven-and-a-half minutes, no points.10:05 p.m.: Chicago is putting together its best drive of the game.9:54 p.m.: Kansas City begins the second half with possession.Halftime: Chiefs 17, Bears 09:35 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Chiefs. Kansas City takes advantage of the Bears running into the punter around midfield. Mahomes hits tight end Travis Kelce for a 6-yard score with less than a minute before halftime. Feels about as insurmountable as a 17-point halftime lead can. Chiefs 17, Bears 0.. @PatrickMahomes puts it right on @tkelce for the @Chiefs TD! #ChiefsKingdom📺: #KCvsCHI on NBC📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/oKSy2RrKGc pic.twitter.com/bjt2px4NkQ— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 20199:29 p.m.: Kansas City is driving at the two-minute warning, thanks to a running into the kicker penalty.9:03 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, Chiefs. Harrison Butker’s kick is good — barely — from 56. Chiefs 10, Bears 0.Harrison Butker is GOOD from 56 yards out! #ChiefsKingdom📺: #KCvsCHI on NBC📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/oKSy2RrKGc pic.twitter.com/Dqnxa6vwhG— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 2019End first quarter: Chiefs 7, Bears 08:47 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Chiefs. Mahomes scrambles on third-and-5 and has an easy 12-yard touchdown run. An 82-yard drive that lasted 7:58. Three third-down conversions, including a third-and-10 and a third-and-18. Chiefs 7, Bears 0. . @PatrickMahomes takes it himself for the 12-yard rushing TD! #ChiefsKingdom📺: #KCvsCHI on NBC📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/oKSy2RrKGc pic.twitter.com/QXHvwhTOrc— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 20198:44 p.m.: Kansas City is entering the eighth minute of its first drive.On third & 18, @PatrickMahomes delivers to the @Cheetah . #ChiefsKingdom📺: #KCvsCHI on NBC📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/oKSy2RrKGc pic.twitter.com/stj0BO8YXE— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 20198:32 p.m.: The Bears punt from around midfield.8:24 p.m.: Chicago begins on offense after a touchback.