November 19, 2019

White Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students at Syracuse University
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty ImagesThe hate speech and racist harassment at Syracuse University once again boiled over last night. While student protesters participated in the sixth day of a sit-in demanding increased campus safety, others sitting in the library allegedly found that a white-supremacist manifesto had been AirDropped to their cellphones.The university’s Department of Public Safety announced in a campus-wide email early Tuesday morning that it was investigating reports that the hate manifesto, which students told The Daily Beast was the same one used by the Christchurch mosque shooter, was sent to student phones at Bird Library at around 1 a.m. It was also posted in an online discussion forum about Greek life just after 10 p.m., The Daily Orange, the student newspaper, reported.The agency is working with the Syracuse Police Department, New York State Police, and the FBI to investigate the quickly escalating situation on campus, but the university’s DPS said there was no “specific” threat to the school Tuesday, The Daily Orange reported.In response, protesters have asked that the administration cancel classes and campus events.“Students are scared for their own safety,” tweeted Josh Meyers, a Syracuse student journalist, on Tuesday morning. “Campus is looking extra empty this morning.”“Students are truly terrified here,” he told The Daily Beast.This marks the 11th racist incident reported on campus since Nov. 6, including the Saturday night harassment of a black student by members of a fraternity who allegedly yelled the n-word at her as she waited for a bus. Others have included anti-Semitic and anti-Asian graffiti in the form of a swastika and slurs. The n-word was also reportedly found scribbled in residence halls and a physics building. In another incident, a student loudly yelled a racial slur against black Americans. Separately, a Chinese freshman reported a racial epithet being used against him.University Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a letter to students and staff Sunday that he was “deeply angered by these events” and hours later announced a $50,000 reward for any evidence that leads to “the apprehension of the individual or individuals responsible for these heinous acts.” The money came from a “generous” donor, he said. Otherwise, anyone with relevant information about the spate of incidents is encouraged to contact the Department of Public Safety directly.Syracuse University Offers $50,000 Reward for Information About Racist Incidents on CampusGov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered state agencies to investigate hate speech on the upstate school’s campus.After it became clear that one of the hate incidents originated from a fraternity on campus, Syverud suspended Alpha Chi Rho and—in one fell swoop—directed the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to suspend all social activities of fraternities for the remainder of the semester.“While only one fraternity may have been involved in this particular incident, given recent history, all fraternities must come together with the university community to reflect upon how to prevent recurrence of such seriously troubling behavior,” Syverud said.The campus sit-in has been staged by black students leading a movement called NotAgainSU, which also organized a boycott of Syracuse basketball games. The sit-in began last Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., and dozens of students have joined the effort inside the school’s Barnes Center at The Arch—a brand-new $50 million recreational complex. Participants have been holding signs that read “Black Safety Matters” and sharing their frustration on social media.Early Tuesday morning, demonstrators asked the administration to cancel all classes and campus events until further notice. “These active threats targeting students should be taken seriously and handled with a sense of urgency,” said a statement from the group on Tuesday. “We believe that students should stay in spaces where they feel the most comfortable, as safety is paramount.”The demonstrators have vowed not to end the protest until all of their demands—including the expulsion of students involved in what they’ve called the “November Hate Crimes”—are met. “The safety of students on this campus—specifically the safety of underrepresented and underserved students—is paramount,” the group said Monday in a press release.“I’ve never felt less safe on campus than I do right now,” said Claire Bauerle, an 18-year-old Syracuse freshman. Bauerle told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that she, a white student, wants students of color to know they are supported.“People aren’t involved just to be involved,” the Chicago native said.“It’s awful,” Bauerle added, emphasizing that students are afraid that it will escalate into a shooting. “It doesn’t feel real. It’s like walking through an awful nightmare.”“Whether or not tonight’s threat is credible, it’s tremendously irresponsible if Syracuse doesn’t cancel classes,” broadcast journalism major Sam Gelfand—a native of Parkland, Fla.— tweeted just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday.“People on this campus, myself included, are shaken, frightened, and fatigued. This is no environment for academics right now. Just let people go home,” he added.Gelfand, a sophomore, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that he was “down the street from the Stoneman Douglas shooting while it occurred”—when 17 people died in one of the nation’s most harrowing school shootings in February 2018—and that while on campus at Syracuse today he found himself “drawing parallels.”“I was terrified last night,” Gelfand, who is Jewish, said. “These hateful incidents have consumed our lives; it’s all we can talk about.”The “lackluster response” from the administration and the DPS is, Gelfand added, “inexcusable.”Professors, meanwhile, were not immune to the campus tension. Several tweeted that they had either canceled classes or would not penalize students who chose not to attend Tuesday.“I will support and advocate for any students who choose not to go to class today,” Prof. Genevieve García de Müeller tweeted. “I support the students protesting and I urge the chancellor to uptake their demands in a serious and systemic way.”She added: “Most of my students have said they are not going to campus today. As a Mexican and Jewish woman I don’t feel safe going to campus. This is a direct attack. First and foremost I care about the safety of my students.”
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
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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
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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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