November 24, 2023
What does the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas look like?
TEL AVIV, Israel — A temporary cease-fire agreement to facilitate the release of dozens of people taken hostage during Hamas’ raid on Israel is expected to bring the first respite to war-weary Palestinians in Gaza and a glimmer of hope to the families of the captives. After hitting a last-minute snag, the deal took effect Friday, a day later than originally planned. Under its terms, Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day halt in hostilities. Palestinian prisoners held by Israel would also be freed as part of the agreement. Advertisement The deal was brokered by Qatar, the U.S. and Egypt and announced on Wednesday. It capped weeks of fitful indirect negotiations and set the stage for a tense period that could determine the course of the war, which was set off by Hamas’ Oct. 7 raid. Israel, Hamas and Qatar have released different details of the agreement, but those details do not appear to contradict one another. Advertisement What’s in the deal? Qatar announced that 50 hostages will be released in exchange for what Hamas said would be 150 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Those freed by both sides will be Women and minors. The plan is for the hostages, part of the 240 people abducted last month, to be released in bursts throughout the cease-fire. Once the first batch is released, Israel is expected to free the first group of Palestinian prisoners. Those prisoners include many teenage boys detained during a wave of violence in the West Bank in 2022 or 2023 and charged with offenses such as stone-throwing or disturbing public order, according to a list of eligible prisoners published by Israel’s Justice Ministry. Israel holds nearly 7,000 Palestinians accused or convicted of security offenses. Israel said the truce would be extended by a day for every 10 additional hostages released. Qatar said Israel would also allow more fuel and humanitarian aid into Gaza, but did not provide details. Hamas said hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid and fuel are to be allowed to enter Gaza every day as part of the deal. Supplies would also reach northern Gaza, the focus of Israel’s ground offensive, for the first time, Hamas said. Israel’s government statement did not refer to increased aid and fuel deliveries. Israeli Channel 12 TV reported that as part of the deal, Israel will allow a “significant” amount of fuel and humanitarian supplies into Gaza, but did not specify how much. Advertisement Israel has severely limited the amount of aid, especially fuel, allowed into Gaza during the war, prompting dire shortages of water, food and fuel to run generators. The fighting is expected to come to a temporary halt: Israeli jets and troops will hold their fire, while militants are expected to refrain from firing rockets at Israel. Hamas said Israel’s warplanes would stop flying over southern Gaza during the four-day truce and for six hours daily over the north. Israel made no mention of halting flights, and it wasn’t clear if this would include its sophisticated intelligence drones, which have been a constant presence over Gaza. What’s been left out? While several families will be thrilled to have their loved ones back, a significant number of hostages will likely remain in Hamas captivity, including men, women, older people and foreign nationals. The families who are not included in the current deal are likely to keep up the pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to secure their own loved ones’ release with a future deal. The plight of the families has gripped Israelis, and they have widespread support. Advertisement Netanyahu said Wednesday that under the deal, the International Committee of the Red Cross will visit the remaining hostages and provide them with any medicine they need. Neither Hamas nor the Red Cross confirmed that. While the cease-fire will grant Palestinians in Gaza a brief calm, the hundreds of thousands who have fled the combat zone and headed south are not expected to be able to return home. Israeli troops are expected to remain in their positions in northern Gaza. What are the deal’s possible implications? The deal involves only a short break in the fighting. Israel, which has made destroying Hamas and saving the captives its goals, is expected to continue where it left off once the cease-fire ends. Netanyahu said that the cease-fire will allow the army to prepare for the continued fighting and will not harm its war effort — and that the war would continue once it expires. When it does, airstrikes will likely resume and troops will continue their push throughout northern Gaza before their expected foray into the south at an unknown time. Gaza residents will have to brace for a resumption of hostilities. Advertisement A break in fighting would also grant Hamas time to strategize, shift around militant positions and perhaps regroup after Israel claimed it had killed large numbers of fighters and destroyed many of the group’s MILITARY assets. The staggered nature of the deal also opens the door for Hamas to up its demands on the fly, in the hopes that Israel would make more concessions to release more hostages. Yehya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza and presumed mastermind of the Oct. 7 attack, could also try to turn a four-day pause in fighting into a longer cease-fire by offering to release more hostages. A longer truce would make it harder for Israel to restart the war, both operationally and in the eyes of global public opinion. The Israeli government would face growing domestic pressure to secure the release of more hostages. Families left out of the current deal will only become more determined to see their loved ones freed once they’ve seen the first groups leave captivity.
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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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