January 03, 2020

Dems Worry Impeachment Jury Duty Will Sideline Most of 2020 Field
As presidential campaigns game out the final stretch before the Iowa caucuses, one major unknown variable threatens to gum up the equation: the looming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.The prospect of a potentially lengthy trial held in the U.S. Senate, stretching for six-day weeks and consuming almost every atom of the country’s political oxygen, hangs over every aspect of the Democratic presidential primary—particularly the next debate on Jan. 14, the last major public engagement for Democratic presidential hopefuls before the first votes are cast.Five of Trump's jurors are currently running for president, including three of the five candidates who have qualified for the debate: Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. A fourth—former Vice President Biden—has been floated by Senate Republicans as a potential target of a subpoena to testify in the trial, leaving Democrats with the prospect of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg debating himself for three hours.The Democratic National Committee has been quietly working on a contingency plan for rescheduling the debate in the event of an impeachment-related scheduling complication, rather than cancelling it altogether.“If a conflict with an impeachment trial is unavoidable, the DNC will evaluate its options and work with all the candidates to accommodate them,” Democratic National Committee communications director Xochitl Hinojosa told The Daily Beast.But as negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans over the trial’s rules and proceedings remain at an impasse, and the Democratic National Committee keeps a potential contingency plan close to the chest, candidates are preparing for the possibility that those accommodations will come at the very last minute.“Being caught in a tug-of-war between Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell is not where you want to be two weeks from Iowa,” said one campaign adviser for a candidate who has qualified for the debate, which is set to be held at Drake University in Des Moines. “We’re of the mind that it’s not a sure thing until they’re literally standing onstage.”In public, none of the candidates set to serve as members of Trump’s jury have expressed concern about the conflict between the debate and their constitutional duties as senators. Speaking in Rochester, New York, last month, Warren told reporters that “there are some things that are more important than politics,” and that she would be at the impeachment trial regardless of the implications for her campaign.Speaking to reporters on the trail last month, Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign manager Addisu Demissie said that while the feasibility of hitting the trail during an impeachment trial isn’t possible to determine until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees on rules for the trial, the New Jersey senator is expecting a lot of red-eye flights at a minimum.“We don’t really know how long it’s going to be, what time of the day it’s going to be, whether he can do stuff in the morning, then hop a train or a flight in the afternoon to get there in the evening, or vice-versa,” Demissie said. “We’re staying flexible.”Others have proposed creative workarounds for being seated in the U.S. Capitol during the day and taking the stage in Des Moines hours later. Speaking on Face the Nation, Klobuchar floated the possibility of making appearances on Skype in lieu of in-person campaign stops.“We have to have the debate, and if for some reason it doesn’t work… there’s plenty of other days,” said Klobuchar, who has bet the farm on a strong performance in Iowa. “There should be no excuses—I’m ready to debate at midnight if that’s what we have to do.”But the pre-caucus calendar in Iowa is already packed to near-capacity. With blackout dates ranging from the National Football League playoffs and the Super Bowl—spread across four weekends, including the Sunday before the caucuses—to the Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum, to be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Democrats have little wiggle room for a last-minute postponement.All of this agita is moot, of course, until congressional leadership can determine when the impeachment trial will begin. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the two articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives to the Senate, waiting instead for McConnell to send her rules outlining how the trial would proceed. The waiting game will continue at least until late next week, when the House returns from vacation.For his part, McConnell has shown little interest in helping speed the process along. Asked by the Wall Street Journal when the Senate might return—thereby starting the impeachment trial—the Kentucky senator said that “it’ll be right around the time the bowl games end. How about that?” The College Football Playoff National Championship is currently scheduled for the day before the Democratic debate.As for President Trump himself, the man at the center of the impeachment trial isn’t letting his own impeachment keep him off the campaign trail. Trump is scheduled to hold at least two campaign rallies this month, including one on the night of the Iowa debate.
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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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