December 23, 2019

Five Sentenced to Death in Khashoggi Murder, Royal Aides Cleared
(Bloomberg) -- A Saudi court sentenced five people to death for the murder of government critic Jamal Khashoggi, a killing that strained relations with key allies, but didn’t have enough evidence to incriminate two top officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.Three out of 11 who stood trial for last year’s murder at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul were given a total of 24-year prison terms, according to a statement read out at the public prosecutor’s office on Monday. The court found three others not guilty. It didn’t identify any of who were convicted. Saud al-Qahtani, removed from his role as a top adviser to Prince Mohammed after the killing, was interrogated but no evidence was found against him, according to Shalaan Shalaan, the deputy attorney general. Ahmed Alassiri, a top intelligence official also removed from his position, was found not guilty by the court.The verdict will likely do little to mute criticism in the U.S. Congress of the kingdom and its powerful crown prince, who has repeatedly denied that the assassination was carried out on his orders. President Donald Trump has defended Prince Mohammed, shielding the kingdom against any major retaliation by lawmakers.A prominent Saudi journalist and government insider, Khashoggi never considered himself a dissident. But in 2017, as a crackdown on domestic dissent under Prince Mohammed intensified, Khashoggi fled, fearing he could be detained. He settled in the U.S., penning a series of critical columns for the Washington Post.Shalaan told reporters that the court has found no evidence that the murder was premeditated, contradicting conclusions by Turkish authorities and Western intelligence services.The prosecutor will “study the verdict and look into filing an appeal,” according to a statement.A report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard found that Saudi agents were recorded discussing how to dismember Khashoggi’s body several minutes before he had entered the consulate, referring to him as a “sacrificial lamb.”Khashoggi, 59, went to the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork for his marriage. He was killed by a team of government agents that lay in wait for him. His body was never recovered.Saudi officials initially said Khashoggi had left the Istanbul consulate on his own, then claimed he died in an interrogation gone awry. A stream of leaks from Turkish intelligence officials repeatedly undermined the Saudi attempts to explain away the death.The trial began in January. Nine sessions were held before Monday’s sentencing, according to al-Shaalan. Representatives of the Turkish government, Saudi human rights groups and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council were allowed to attend, but the media had been banned from covering the trial.(An earlier version was corrected to remove reference to 11 being found guilty.)To contact the reporters on this story: Reema Alothman in Riyadh at ralothman1@bloomberg.net;Donna Abu-Nasr in Riyadh at dabunasr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Alaa Shahine, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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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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