December 20, 2023
White House releases mission authorization policy framework
WASHINGTON — The White House is releasing a policy framework to accompany its proposal to provide oversight of novel commercial space activities. The framework, to be announced at a Dec. 20 meeting of the National Space Council, is intended to accompany a separate legislative proposal for mission authorization it released Nov. 15 . That proposal would split responsibility between the Department of Commerce and Department of Transportation for authorization and continuing supervision of those commercial space activities not regulated today. The policy framework, which the White House describes in a fact sheet as a companion to that legislative proposal, “will enable the Executive Branch to better prepare for and shape the future space regulatory environment.” A key element of the framework is the creation of a Private Sector Space Activities Interagency Steering Group co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Transportation in consultation with the chair of the Federal Communications Commission. The group would include several Cabinet-level departments as well as NASA and other federal agencies “with expertise or equities pertaining to private sector novel space activities.” That steering group will coordinate strategies for issues “pertaining to emerging private sector space capabilities that are nascent or in development,” the framework states. That includes working with the private sector on best practices, standards and information sharing protocols regarding the U.S. government’s core interests for novel space activities. That information, in turn, would inform the guidance that the Commerce and Transportation Departments provide industry and incorporate into their regulatory processes. The document adds that other agencies should consider incorporating those best practices, standards and protocols into their own processes, and that the State Department should promote them internationally. While a full-fledged mission authorization regime would require legislation, the policy framework calls upon Commerce and Transportation, along with other agencies, to use “their existing statutory authorities” to provide guidance to the private sector regarding those best practices and standards. The framework also directs the Commerce and Transportation Departments to “minimize burdens on industry” as part of the oversight process. That would involve harmonizing their separate rulemaking processes and creating strict timelines for reviews of applications and “a presumption of an expedited review for approval.” The policy framework states that the U.S. government’s Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices (ODMSP) are the guidelines that government agencies should use when regulating private space activities. It calls on several agencies to determine if the ODMSP, last updated in late 2019 , should be updated every two years. Another element of the policy is the creation of an “inventory of non-governmental space operations” by the Commerce Department, stating that the government would benefit from such a centralized database. It did not specify what information about private space operations should be included in that database. The release of the policy framework comes as the White House faces opposition to its legislative proposal that would give Commerce and Transportation the statutory authority to oversee commercial space activities not currently licensed. The House Science Committee approved on a party-line vote Nov. 29 its own commercial space bill that would give mission authorization authority exclusively to the Commerce Department. At a Dec. 13 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), chair of the subcommittee, said the White House’s proposed legislation had “numerous ambiguities, new undefined terms and broad grants of open-ended authority.” She did not elaborate on her concerns. At that hearing, officials from several agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, within the Transportation Department, and the Office of Space Commerce within the Commerce Department, supported the White House mission authorization proposal. They told senators that there would be no cases where both departments would license a single activity and that there would be a “robust interagency process” to address any jurisdictional issues.
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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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