May 17, 2018
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk promised a cheering crowd on Thursday that his controversial dream of burrowing a high-speed network of “personalized mass transit” tunnels under Los Angeles could be achieved without disturbance or noise at the surface.
Elon Musk brings high-tech charm offensive to Los Angeles tunnel plan
Musk, the Silicon Valley high-tech tycoon who founded the Tesla Inc. electric car maker, also said he would offer free trips through the first two research tunnels he completes to get public feedback before proceeding with a larger system.
“Like a weird little Disney ride in L.A.,” Musk, casually dressed in denim, said to laughter and applause.
It remained uncertain whether construction permits he has received thus far, or is still seeking from various agencies, would allow public access to his tunnels on an experimental basis. [L1N1SJ00Z]
Known for aggressively taking on large-scale technical challenges with which he has had little previous experience, Musk ended his pitch on a humble note, telling the audience that realizing his vision “could only happen with public support.”
The performance marked a rare personal appearance for Musk at such a public event, a town hall-style gathering attended by about 700 people at the Leo Baeck Temple, a synagogue in the city’s affluent Bel-Air district, where Musk owns a residence.
Elon Musk brings high-tech charm offensive to Los Angeles tunnel plan
Joining him on stage was Steve Davis, a top executive at Musk’s aptly named underground transit venture, the Boring Company.

ROCK STAR TREATMENT
Musk’s celebrity status preceded him, as some visitors pushed and shoved their way into the crowded hall before the event began. Half-joking that he was late because of heavy traffic, Musk received a rousing welcome as he arrived, and a standing ovation at the end of the hour-long session.
Whether staunch critics were swayed remained to be seen.
Boring’s effort to win fast-track city approval of a 2.7-mile-long tunnel beneath a busy stretch of Los Angeles’ West Side has drawn a court challenge from two neighborhood organizations.
It also comes as Musk wrestles with production problems for the rollout of his highly anticipated Model 3 sedan at Tesla, with some investors concerned his overlapping leadership roles at Boring and his rocket-building firm SpaceX has him spread too thin.
Resistance to his tunneling project marks a somewhat new type of challenge for Musk. Opponents say the exemption Boring seeks from a lengthy environmental review of the Los Angeles test tunnel violates state law forbidding such waivers for large-scope projects on a piecemeal basis.
But Musk denied trying to take any shortcuts, saying even with the waiver, Boring faces “600 pages of permits that would be required for this tunnel.” He added he has every intent of submitting to a full environmental study for the tunnel network as a whole when the time comes.
A slightly shorter test tunnel is already largely finished underneath the tiny neighboring municipality of Hawthorne, where Boring and SpaceX are both headquartered.
Musk and Davis vowed the public has nothing to fear from their excavation plans, which they say will differ from conventional tunnels by running deeper underground, well beneath utility lines.
“You won’t hear us, you won’t feel us, you won’t even know we exist,” Davis said.
Musk said the first two tunnel segments would serve as proof-of-concept sites to demonstrate ideas for a traffic-easing network of subterranean tubes whisking passenger-carrying “pods” and individual cars from place to place at high speeds.
Musk launched his foray into public transit after complaining about traffic on Twitter in late 2016, vowing to “build a boring machine and just start digging.”
In one apparent gain announced earlier, the Los Angeles transit authority voiced support for Musk’s tunnel ambitions, tweeting that the agency and Boring had a “great meeting” on Thursday and would “be partners moving forward.”
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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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