October 16, 2019
The debate revolved around Warren, who was masterful. Yet those who hope to see Sanders’ campaign flounder are not going to get their wish‘Sanders used the time he did get to his advantage.’ Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesIf the question looming over Tuesday’s Democratic debate was “has Bernie still got it?” the answer was yes. He still had it – for the 10 minutes or so that he was allowed to speak. Even though Bernie Sanders has far more donors than Elizabeth Warren, and has consistently been among the top three candidates in the polls, he was given less speaking time than Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke, candidates who have been registering as low as 1% in polls recently.Of course, debates are an opportunity to showcase candidates voters might not have heard of, so CNN might say it was trying to allow some time for bottom-tier candidates to shine. But other than the silencing of Sanders, speaking time was almost exactly in proportion to poll numbers: Warren, leading the polls, got far more than anyone else, Biden second, with Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer at the bottom. No, they were just ignoring Sanders. He was skipped entirely on questions about gun control and drug companies, then brought in to answer a question about his age and health. It’s well documented that Sanders’ media coverage never matches his popular support, and last night’s debate was a very clear example of the phenomenon in action.Fortunately, Sanders used the time he did get to his advantage. He gave powerful, succinct summaries of his vision for the country. He repeatedly brought up climate change unprompted, even though (shockingly) the debate moderators seemed to have no interest in the issue. He gave a solid answer to an inane final question about bipartisan friendships, pointing to the legislation he had passed by working with Republican colleagues (and highlighting the little-acknowledged fact that he has a strong record as a pragmatic legislator).The debate revolved around Warren, however. She proved masterful at explaining economic policy ideas clearly within the space of 20 seconds or so, including an excellent point about why it’s important to tax wealth rather than income, an introduction to the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and a clear summary of why monopolies are harmful (a line about being the umpire while serving on the team). Joe Biden, Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg all came after her aggressively, and she parried them well. Klobuchar and Buttigieg appear to have settled on a strategy of directly attacking the more progressive candidates over their “unrealistic” plans – and then having the audacity to call for civility and the putting aside of differences.Kamala Harris put in an unexpectedly underwhelming performance. Her eyes gleamed when she was asked whether she would put drug company executives in jail. (Jail, you say? I’ll put anyone in jail!) She confronted Warren with a bizarre demand to call for the suspension of Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which Warren wisely rebuffed. Harris has generally been doing worse than some of us expected, possibly because she has no clear platform and is incapable of honestly accounting for her atrocious record.Julian Castro and Gabbard each performed one useful function at the debate. Castro brought up the fact that police violence is part of gun violence, and should be discussed accordingly. Gabbard challenged Mayor Pete over US military presence in the Middle East. Cory Booker spent a disproportionate amount of his speaking time offering variations on “Can’t we just get along?” and pleading with his fellow candidates for unity against Trump. O’Rourke was typically nondescript, but had an entertaining spat with Buttigieg over gun policy. Andrew Yang continued to plug his signature universal basic income policy, and Steyer used his first debate appearance to tout his record of advocacy on impeachment and environmental issues.The topics of the debate were less frustrating than usual, despite the question about “unusual friendships” in place of a question about climate change, and the complete lack of attention paid to immigration, one of the most urgent issues of the Trump era. Though it seems to now be a rule that a substantial portion of any Democratic debate must be devoted to arguing about whether Medicare for All will raise middle-class taxes, this debate mercifully spent slightly less time on that question than previous ones. The first question, about impeachment, was merely an opportunity for grandstanding and finger-wagging at the president, but questions about antitrust policy, court-packing, drug companies, a federal jobs guarantee, and women’s reproductive healthcare were all substantive and useful. As much as one may loathe the political media, these debates are not completely detached from the policy issues that will affect people’s lives, and there is something of a healthy democratic spirit to them, even if candidates are given far too little time to speak in any depth on any single issue.As usual, there were no giant revelations, no campaign-ending or star-making moments. Buttigieg and Klobuchar will probably be considered to have had “good nights”, but that is largely because they were allowed to speak for longer periods of time than their public support warrants. The main takeaway from the night was: Bernie is back in action, and with new endorsements from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar reported during the debate, it’s clear that those who hope to see his campaign flounder are not going to get their wish.
Bernie Sanders proved hes still got it, even as Elizabeth Warren dominated
* Nathan Robinson is the editor of Current Affairs and a Guardian US columnist
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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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