December 29, 2019

Hanukkah stabbing that injured five called domestic terrorism by New York governor
New York's governor has said a knife attack by an assailant who burst into a party at a Hasidic rabbi's home and stabbed five people late on Saturday was an act of domestic terrorism. Visiting the scene in Rockland County, about 30 miles (48 km) north of New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo met on Sunday with victims who had been attending the Hanukkah celebration at the home of rabbi Chaim Rottenberg. "This is terrorism, it is domestic terrorism," Mr Cuomo told reporters. "These are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence, generate fear based on race, colour, creed." The attack appeared to be the latest in a string targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey earlier this month. police said the stabbings happened at around 10pm in Monsey, one of several Hudson Valley towns that have seen an influx in large numbers of Hasidic Jews in recent years. Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said hours later that New York City police had located a vehicle and possible suspect being sought in connection with the stabbing. New York City Police wouldn't immediately confirm whether anyone was in custody. Top New York state officials, including attorney general Leticia James, released statements condemning the attack. In Britain Dave Thompson, the chief constable of the West Midlands Police, said he would be making contact with Jewish communities to provide reassurance in the wake of the stabbing.  Investigators cordoned off the large home on Forshay Road yellow crime scene tape as of 3am. Onlookers gathered nearby and watched as officers collected evidence and worked to determine what occurred hours earlier. A number of police and emergency vehicles also remained at the scene. The Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey was at the scene in Monsey, about an hour north of New York City. Police said the stabbings happened at around 10 p.m.  Credit: REUTERS  The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley region tweeted reports that the stabbings took place at the house of a Hasidic rabbi while they were celebrating Hanukkah. According to public records, the home belongs Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, who leads the synagogue adjacent to the residence. Several state and local officials have described the location of the stabbing as a synagogue. Saturday was the seventh night of Hanukkah. Aron Kohn, 65, told The New York Times that he was inside the house when the stabbings occurred. "I was praying for my life," said Mr Kohn, 65. "He started attacking people right away as soon as he came in the door. We didn't have time to react at all." Weidel said the five people were taken to hospitals for treatment. It is unclear what the extent of their injuries were. Authorities have not provided a motive for the attack. Investigators cordoned off the large home on Forshay Road yellow crime scene tape Credit: Seth Harrison/The Journal News via AP Mr Cuomo, who called the stabbings a "cowardly act" has directed the State Police hate crimes task force to investigate the attacks. "Let me be clear: anti-Semitism and bigotry of any kind are repugnant to our values of inclusion and diversity and we have absolutely zero tolerance for such acts of hate," he said in a statement. "In New York we will always stand up and say with one voice to anyone who wishes to divide and spread fear: you do not represent New York and your actions will not go unpunished." Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the attack on Twitter saying a collective effort is needed to stop future incidents. "Shocked and outraged by the terrible attack in NY and praying for the recovery of those injured. Antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem, and certainly not just the State of Israel's problem," he tweeted. "We must work together to confront this rising evil, which is a real global threat." The stabbings occurred a month after a man was stabbed while walking to a Monsey synagogue. The man required surgery. It's unknown if the person suspected in that stabbing has been arrested. Jewish communities in the New York City metro area have been troubled following a deadly Dec. 10 shooting rampage at a northern New Jersey kosher market. Six people died in the shooting, including the two killers, a police officer and three people who had been inside the store. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement. Around New York City, police have gotten at least six reports this week - and eight since Dec. 13 - of attacks possibly propelled by anti-Jewish bias. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that police presence would increase in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations.
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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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