December 26, 2019

Netanyahu’s Big Win Means His Party Is in Real Trouble
JERUSALEM — After weeks of bad news, Thursday was a very good night for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faced the first serious challenge to his leadership of the Likud party since 2005.At the end of a tense, stormy primary day, in which Netanyahu’s side emitted text messages with invented commandments — “thou shalt not betray” — and supporters of his opponent, Gideon Saar, cried foul over electoral misbehavior, Netanyahu won, convincingly.The final result was 72.5% for Netanyahu, and 27.5% for Saar, a former minister who ran on a nationalist, agenda a notch harsher than Netanyahu’s and argued for a return to civility and decency in politics.It’s the only way to guarantee the continuation of the right-wing’s monopoly over the Israeli government was for new leadership to take over in the Likud, Saar said.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Will Be Indicted. But Will He Step Down?Netanyahu failed to win a majority of votes in two successive elections held this year, in April and in September, and has presided over the Israeli government as an interim prime minister, with limited powers, for a full year.Netanyahu, a ruthless political operator, has never nurtured successors. Most of the men who have served him, including former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and former education minister Naftali Bennet found themselves out of the Likud when their popularity began to threaten Netanyahu.Saar is the only prominent Likud figure with the courage to state out loud what the Israeli public already knows: There is no path for Netanyahu to form a new government after the elections on March 2, 2020.In fact, the exuberance at this victory among the party faithful could fade as early as Sunday, when Avichai Mandelblit, the Israeli attorney general, has been forced to produce his opinion on a legal conundrum never before seen here.In November, Mandelblit announced a raft of corruption charges against Netanyahu, including bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.In order to protect a legally elected head of government from frivolous legal challenges, an Israeli Basic Law—a constitutional act—allows an indicted prime minister to serve out his or her term in office even while facing trial.But another law, legislated by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, does not allow any indicted person to be appointed to high office.Neither of these laws have ever been tested. The Supreme Court, which is grappling with several petitions claiming Netanyahu cannot legally remain in office, has compelled Mandelblit to present his decision on Netanyahu’s ability to continue in office, a sort of forced amicae curiae, by Sunday.In the coming months, the court will rule on Netanyahu’s fitness for office as a candidate under criminal indictment.Blue and White—the Likud’s opposition in the general election, which bested Netanyahu’s party in September—is led by the centrist former army chief, Benny Gantz, who ran on clean government platform. Throughout the failed coalition talks, he said his party hoped to form a broad national unity government with the Likud— but would not serve with an indicted criminal.Saar, during the primary,  claimed that Gantz would win the March vote if the Likud was not able to renew its leadership, offering a new coalition government, and that Netanyahu’s stubborn hold on power would bring defeat.Knowing he faced serious charges, Netanyahu has been scrambling to evade judgement. The law allows him to remain in office, but not to evade trial. During the last year, Netanyahu has tried to pass a personal immunity law through the Knesset and, created an even greater public uproar, tried to pass a law that would override supreme court decisions.But having failed, but he will now run a scorched earth campaign aimed at a single target: a large enough parliamentary majority to pass an immunity law.Before the primary results were even announced, Netanyahu confidant Miki Zohar, a rambunctious Knesset member for the Likud, said, “Netanyahu got the answer about whether he should ask for immunity.”But Netanyanhu’s big night may result in very bad news for his party, the Likud, who will be running an indicted candidate who’s twice lost and wants only one thing: legal immunity, which the voters hate. Israelis are generally indulgent about Netanyahu’s various offences and peccadillos, but deeply oppose parliamentary immunity, and Gantz accuses him of seeking only an “immunity government,” not a real governing coalition, and of holding the nation hostage to his legal imbroglios. Netanyahu Is Using Trump's Tactics to Try to Survive His Corruption and Bribery ScandalIn May, when Netanyahu presented the initial bills, 62% of the Israel public opposed immunity for Netanyahu. Recent polls show that figure now above 70%, from voters across the political spectrum.Netanyahu has until January 1 to request immunity against the criminal charges, but would need a majority of members to support it—and, for now, he hasn’t got it. The primary victory is expected to emboldened him to demand parliamentary support from the entire right wing block.If Netanyahu does not succeed whipping a majority of Israel's 120 lawmakers to support immunity, he will be put on trial in Jerusalem immediately after the next government is formed.
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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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