November 30, 2019
A man armed only with a 5ft narwhal tusk has been commended as a hero after footage of him confronting the London Bridge attacker was shared online. 
London Bridge Hero Uses 5ft Narwhal Tusk To Confront Terrorist
A video from the incident appears to show three men – including one armed with a huge narwhal tusk and another with a fire extinguisher – pursuing the knifeman out onto London Bridge and tackling him to the ground.
The attacker was identified in the early hours of Saturday morning as Usman Khan, 28, from Staffordshire – a convicted terrorist with known links to extremist groups. 
Two people were killed during the incident, which is believed to have started in Fishmonger’s Hall, in which an event held by the University of Cambridge’s Criminology department was being held. Three other victims remain in hospital, where they are being treated for their injuries. 
Students, academics, and alumni were in attendance, as well as offenders who had been released from prison and were undertaking a programme of rehabilitation – among them is believed to have been Khan, who was imprisoned in 2012 for his part in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange. 
The Times identified the man with the tusk only as Luckasz, a chef from Poland who is believed to have been working in the hall at the time of the attack.
A photograph allegedly taken in the hall prior to the attack appears to show the enormous ornamental tooth hanging beside a second specimen beside a door. The narwhal’s tusk gives the animal, a type of whale, its nickname “the unicorn of the sea”.New footage of yesterday's terror attack on #LondonBridge.Three members of the public armed with a fire extinguisher and a Narwhal tusk take the attacher down. Heroes. pic.twitter.com/8yGBPaGtbL— Darren of Plymouth 🇬🇧 (@DarrenPlymouth) November 30, 2019The men have been praised for their quick-thinking actions in the midst of the attack, alongside a number of other members of the public who were seen confronting Khan – who was wearing a fake suicide vest – and even managing to take at least one knife out of his hand. 
The Daily Mail reported that one of the men present during the attack was convicted murderer James Ford, who is believed to have been on day release on Friday. 
In 2004 he was given a life sentence for murdering Amanda Champion,  21-year-old from Ashford in Kent with learning difficulties.
It is not clear where he was as the scene unfolded, however Champion’s aunt Angela Cox told the Daily Mail that he was “not a hero”, and described him as a “cold-blooded murderer”. The family were reportedly unaware that Ford was on day release on Friday. 
Emergency services were called to London Bridge shortly before 2pm, fatally shooting Khan before evacuating the area around the site of the incident, including Borough Market. 
London Bridge station was closed and a wide cordon put in place as officers reportedly swept the area for explosive devices. A guy who was with us at Fishmongers Hall took a 5’ narwhale tusk from the wall and went out to confront the attacker. You can see him standing over the man (with what looks like a white pole) in the video. We were trying to help victims inside but that man’s a hero #LondonBridge— Amy Coop (@theamycoop) November 29, 2019Thomas Gray said he was among those members of the public who helped tackle the attacker on London Bridge.
He told ITV News: “Me and my colleague Stevie were driving northbound over London Bridge and we sort of came up behind a double-decker bus and we noticed several people jumping over the central reservation out to the right and sort of just peered our heads around and saw there was one chap running away from five guys running him down with a fire extinguisher.
“So Stevie and I just thought what to do, and just ran towards it, left the cars where they were and tried to do our best to apprehend the suspect.
“When we got there he was wielding two knives, one was duct-taped to his hand so all I could do after the guys had held him down and were pinning him to the ground, tried to stamp as hard as I could on his wrist to try and release the knife as it were.
“Someone kicked the knife away, somewhere northbound up London Bridge and then after that the police armed response were really quick, got there almost instantaneously, and at that point we were told he had a bomb vest so we cleared house and got out the way. At that point, saw a guy get shot a couple of times and then hit the deck. I hid behind a school bus full of little children … got the bus turned around and they went back south over London Bridge.Two Londoners, one armed with a fire extinguisher and the other with a narwhal tusk, take on a knife-wielding terrorist on London Bridge. pic.twitter.com/QtJrgei5do— Ben Stephens (@stephens_ben) November 29, 2019A large cordon is still in place around the scene of the incident, and a forensics tent has been erected on London Bridge itself as investigations continue. 
Speaking on Friday evening, prime minister Boris Johnson praised the bravery of both the emergency services and the members of the public who confronted the attacker. 
He said: “My thanks go first of all to the emergency services, the police for their bravery and their professionalism, and to repeat again my thanks to those members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others and I think they represent the best of our country and I thank them on behalf of the rest of our country.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also commended those who intervened, describing their actions as a display of “breathtaking heroism”.
He said: “What’s remarkable about the images we’ve seen is the breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger, not knowing what confronted them.
“We do know from the statement given by the assistant commissioner Neil Basu that there appears to be a device on the suspect.
“Members of the public didn’t realise at the time that was a hoax device and they really are the best of us, another example of the bravery and heroism of ordinary Londoners running towards danger, risking their own personal safety to try and save others.
“And I want to say thank you to them on behalf of all Londoners but also because it shows the best of us.”Related... London Bridge Attack: Here's What We Know So Far London Bridge Attack: Police Confirm Two Victims Dead London Bridge Attack: Knifeman Who Killed Two Named As Convicted Terrorist Usman Khan
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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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