May 26, 2021
Boris Johnson has been left licking his wounds after Dominic Cummings dropped bombshell upon bombshell on the prime minister over his handling of Covid. 
8 News Stories You May Have Missed Because Of Dominic Cummings
The former aide sent shockwaves through Westminster at his long-awaited Commons committee hearing, in which he called for health secretary Matt Hancock to be sacked over alleged lies and said the PM was “unfit” for office. 
In a frankly bizarre turn, the PM’s ex-adviser also claimed that in the early days of the pandemic, Johnson considered having Covid injected into him live on television by chief medical officer Chris Whitty. 
Amidst all this, you may have missed some other important news.
Let’s get you caught up with some of today’s other headlines. 
 1, The Hillsborough trial collapsed Two retired police officers and an ex-solicitor accused of altering police statements after the Hillsborough disaster have been acquitted. The trial against Donald Denton, 83, retired detective chief inspector Alan Foster, 74, and solicitor Peter Metcalf, 71, collapsed on Wednesday after a judge ruled there was no case to answer. 
The three men denied charges of perverting the course of justice after it was alleged they tried to minimise the blame on South Yorkshire Police.Mr Justice William Davis said the amended statements were intended for a public inquiry into safety at sports grounds, however, and that as such it was not a course of public justice.
Ninety-six Liverpool fans died as a result of the crush at the FA Cup semi-final match at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground on 15 April 1989.
Margaret Aspinall, whose son James was among them, said the ruling was “an absolute mockery” and a “shambles”.“We’re always the losers no matter what the outcome today,” she said. 2, Raab met Israeli and Palestinian leaders for peace talksPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this afternoon, at the Prime Minister's Office in JERUSALEM, with British Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab.PM Netanyahu: "It's good to see you again in better times and we'll work together to make them even better. "https://t.co/9DnE1y1v79pic.twitter.com/guleNV5PwS— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) May 26, 2021Dominic Raab met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as he reiterated the UK supports a two-state solution in the Israel-Gaza conflict. 
The foreign secretary called for a “lasting peace” on Wednesday and visited both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories following last week’s ceasefire.
The ceasefire was declared on Friday after 11 days of fighting killed more than 250 people, the vast majority in Gaza, in what was the worst violence in the conflict since 2014. 
Raab tweeted: “Vital we make progress towards a more positive future for Israelis and Palestinians.”
 3, Five arrested after Black Lives Matter activist shotFive men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder over the shooting of black equal rights activist Sasha Johnson.
The 27-year-old Oxford graduate is fighting for her life in hospital after being injured at a party in Peckham, south-east London in the early hours of Sunday.
The Metropolitan Police said that officers detained three teenagers and two older men on suspicion of other offences, before they were all also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The first suspect, a 17-year-old boy, was held on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and drug dealing on Tuesday afternoon.
Police then raided an address in Peckham where they arrested three men – aged 18, 19 and 28 – on suspicion of affray and possession with intent to supply class B drugs.
A fifth man, aged 25, was arrested later that evening following a car chase, also in Peckham, on suspicion of affray and failing to stop for police.
All five have also since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
 4, Disgraced MP Rob Roberts avoids by-election Disgraced MP Rob Roberts may escape a by-election despite breaching Sexual Misconduct rules. 
The MP for Delyn faces being suspended from the Commons for six weeks after repeated unwanted advances to a member of staff during which asked him to be “less alluring”. 
Roberts has been stripped of the Tory whip but the way recall laws are drawn up means he cannot face the prospect of losing his seat.
The sanction was proposed by the panel set up in 2020 to deal with cases raised under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.
But the Recall of Parliament Act was passed in 2015 and only allows the prospect of a by-election for sanctions imposed on the recommendation of the Commons Committee on Standards.
House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg will invite the “relevant bodies” to consider whether the laws need to be changed to enable the recall process to be triggered.
MPs need to approve the six-week suspension.
 5, SNP in talks with Scottish Greens over ‘formal’ government Nicola Sturgeon has revealed her SNP government is in talks with the Scottish Greens over a formal co-operation agreement. 
The first minister has said that by working together the two parties “can help build a better future for Scotland” as she set out her priorities following the SNP victory in the Holyrood election earlier this month.
She stressed discussions between the two parties – which are being supported by the civil service – will continue over the coming weeks, and said it is “not inconceivable” that they could see Green MSPs joining the SNP in the Scottish Government.
Both parties support the case for Scottish independence. 
 6, ‘Super mutant’ virus fearsCoronavirus is going to do “weird” things going forward, and “super mutant viruses” may emerge, an expert has warned.
Professor Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, said that while this would not necessarily be a bad thing, the virus would try to become more efficient at transmission as more people are protected.
He added that Coronavirus is unpredictable and we should not be overconfident at any stage.
Asked about how to prepare for future variants, Gupta told a press briefing: “I think that we have good vaccines, now we need to keep the pressure on vaccine designers, manufacturers to adapt vaccines.” 
He added: “Secondly, the virus is going to do some weird things. I mean, this is just the beginning.
“I think it’s going to recombine, you’re going to get super mutant viruses, I believe.
“But that’s not not necessarily a terrible thing, but the virus is going to do very unexpected things because the amount of pressure on it is going to be severe, so it will adapt.
 7, Chris Grayling makes plea over ‘tragic’ decline of hedgehogs Former Tory cabinet minister Christ Grayling has urged the government to do more to stop the decline of hedgehogs
The Epsom and Ewell MP said the “catastrophic loss” of the small, spiky mammals was due to a mixture of habitat loss, the reduction of wildlife and protections available.
Speaking in a Commons debate on the Environment Bill, he said: “It is tragic, back in the 1950s there was something like 30 million hedgehogs in this country, now it’s estimated to be about 1.5 million, that is a catastrophic loss.”
“When I was a child, hedgehogs were around in the garden all the time, I have never as an adult seen a hedgehog in my garden or anywhere near it, this is a tragic loss and one we have to work to reverse.”
Too many species he said had declined in numbers, adding “we should be protecting them all”.
Saying hedgehog numbers had declined by 95% in recent years, he asked the government to address “shortcomings” in current legislation, adding: “I hope we’ll all be hedgehog champions going forwards and I’d say to the minister we’re going to be holding her feet to the fire to make sure her department delivers.”
 8, It’s Jeremy Corbyn’s birthdayAnd finally ... Jeremy Corbyn is celebrating his 72th birthday. 
The former Labour leader shows no sign of slowing down campaigning, however, as he plans on celebrating the milestone with an online event entitled ‘Happy Birthday Jeremy – Restore the Whip’. 
Corbyn sits as an independent MP after his successor Keir Starmer suspended him from the Parliamentary Labour Party following his claim that anti-Semitism in the party on his watch had been “overstated” by his opponents. 
He remains a member of the Labour Party, however. 
At the event will be comedian Alexei Sayle, as well as a number of left-wing MPs, including Richard Burgon and Zarah Saltana.  
There were no well wishes from Dominic Cummings, however, who told MPs as part of his marathon evidence session: “There’s a very profound question in the nature of our political system, any system that leaves people with the choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn is obviously a system that’s gone extremely badly wrong.” Related...The 14 Most Explosive Claims From Dominic Cummings’ Covid EvidenceDominic Cummings Stands By 'Testing Eyesight' Reason For Barnard Castle TripDominic Cummings Says Matt Hancock Lied And Should Be Sacked
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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