August 12, 2023
With swollen rivers still rising, Norway mulls more evacuations
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Authorities were on standby to evacuate more people in southeastern Norway Friday, where huge amounts of water, littered with broken trees, debris and trash, were thundering down the usually serene rivers after days of torrential rain. The level of water in swollen rivers and lakes continued to grow despite two days of dry but overcast weather, with houses abandoned in flooded areas, floating hay bales wrapped in white plastic, cars coated in mud and camping sites swamped. In the Bagdammen lake, a helicopter with a net and cables attached was used to push a caravan toward the shore where it was pulled in by firefighters. One of the most affected places was the town of Hoenefossen where the Begna river had gone over its banks and authorities were considering moving more people downstream for fear of landslides. A total of 3,600 people are estimated to have been already evacuated, the Norwegian news agency NTB said. “We constantly try to think a few steps ahead. We are ready to press an even bigger red button,” Magnus Nilholm, a local emergency manager in the Hoenefossen region, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “This has been like a disaster movie,” Solveig Vestenfor, the mayor of Aal municipality that has been affected by the floods, told NRK. Ivar Berthling of Norway’s Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) told NTB that the water levels around Hoenefossen, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Oslo, were expected to continue rising and remain high until at least Monday. Up north, near the Strondafjorden lake, the water level was reported to be 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) above normal. “We are still facing critical days,” the Ringerike municipality, where Hoenefossen lies, said in a statement. “Being evacuated is a dramatic event in everyday life, especially for children,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said as he visited one of the affected areas Friday. Norway’s 86-year-old King Harald V was given a briefing at the NVE headquarters, west of Oslo, on Friday, while his wife, Queen Sonja, was seen scribing on a notepad. The aging king who uses crutches, later met with volunteers who have worked with those evacuated. “This was really extreme,” Harald told reporters. His wife added, “I think we have to wait a few days and see, before we can breathe a sigh of relief.” Authorities did not provide a nationwide count of evacuees. According to a rough estimate, damage so far could amount to 1 billion kroner (nearly $100 million). Authorities on Friday urged people not to check on their cabins in the devastated part of the country. “Hytte,” the Norwegian word for cabin, is part of the Scandinavian country’s outdoors lifestyle, and thousands of Norwegians have access to a cabin — some in the mountains, others by the coast — that they use as a retreat from everyday life. Related Articles “We fully understand that many cabin owners are anxious about the cabin’s condition after the ravages of the extreme weather, but we hope people will abstain now from making the trip just to check,” Lars Aune of the National police said in a statement. “This is to avoid unnecessary strain on exposed roads.” Storm Hans on Monday and Tuesday battered northern Europe, leading to transportation distruption, flooding and power cuts across the Nordic and Baltic region. At least three people were killed. Southeastern Norway was particularly badly affected. A hydroelectric river dam collapsed Wednesday as water forced its way through, and earlier this week a train derailed in neighboring Sweden when a railway embankment was washed away by floods.
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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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