Argentinians arrive on peace mission
Argentina's Rugby Without Borders is in Israel this week despite - or perhaps because of - the security situation to engage in peace work. The group, a mix of 10 former Argentinian players and several male and female Israeli rugby players is working in partnership with the Peres Center for Peace and the Israel Rugby Association. The players will teach the sport to both Israeli and Palestinian children. The women's team in Jerusalem is hosting the event on the grounds of the Keshet School in the Katamonim neighborhood. The Palestinian children scheduled to arrive are from the Hebron Hills, while Israeli children from the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, which has been under rocket fire this week, are also supposed to attend. After learning the game and playing together, the children will also have a chance to watch an organized women's game from the local league. (Lior Tzur)
Gal Mekel heads for Haifa
Journeyman hoopster Gal Mekel, who started the season without a team, signed Thursday with Maccabi Haifa until the end of this season. The 24-year-old center, who has played for Maccabi Tel Aviv (2008-9 ) and Gilboa/Galil (2009-11 ), spent last season with Benetton Treviso in the Italian league. "The connection between us feels just right," Mekel said. "I think this team has great potential." (Arie Livnat )
Thanksgiving special for Roethlisberger with 'Little Ben'
Ailing two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger had a special reason to celebrate Thanksgiving Thursday after his wife Ashley gave birth to their first child the previous evening. Benjamin Jr. weighed 7 lbs. and 1 oz when he was born at 10:06 P.M. local time on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said on his official website. "Both mom and baby are doing well," said Roethlisberger, who has been sidelined for the past 10 days by a sprained shoulder and rib injury. "We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, it really means a lot to us. God is so good!" Roethlisberger, popularly known as "Big Ben," has not played since he sprained a joint in his right shoulder against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 12 when he was sacked by linebacker Justin Houston in the third quarter. (Reuters )
Texans score disputed TD against Lions
Houston's Justin Forsett scored on an 81-yard run in the third quarter Thursday against the Detroit Lions, even though replays clearly showed his knee touching the ground around his own 25-yard-line. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz probably helped the touchdown stand by throwing his challenge flag. The TD counted and Detroit was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. A Lions spokesman said a coach is not allowed to challenge scoring plays, which are automatically reviewed. If a coach does throw a challenge flag, the automatic review is negated. Schwartz was seen tapping his chest on the sideline, saying "it's on me." The irate crowd at Detroit's Ford Field kept booing the call for several minutes, even as the game continued. (AP )