January 03, 2020

Klobuchar took money from prosecutor condemned over Central Park Five case
* Linda Fairstein received intense criticism over handling of case * Decision to accept money raises fresh questions for contenderAmy Klobuchar accepted a financial donation last year from a former prosecutor who has faced intense public condemnation for her handling of the Central Park Five rape case, in what may raise new questions about the Democratic candidate’s views on criminal justice.Public records show Klobuchar’s primary campaign accepted $1,000 from Linda Fairstein in March last year and does not appear to have returned the funds, despite public and vigorous criticism of the former prosecutor that erupted a few months later.Fairstein’s prior record as head of the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes unit came under renewed scrutiny last summer following the release of the Netflix series When They See Us, which examined the infamous 1989 case in which five innocent black and Latino teenagers were wrongly convicted and sent to jail for the rape of a white woman in Central Park.A rapist and murderer who committed other crimes while the Central Park Five – Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, and Yusef Salaam - were in prison later confessed to the crime.The case has become a potent symbol of inequality in the US criminal justice system, and the unfair treatment of young black and Latino men. The men were awarded $41m in a settlement with the city of New York, but prosecutors never admitted to wrongdoing.Klobuchar’s campaign did not return a request for comment.The Netflix film, by Ava DuVernay, helped to expose Fairstein’s deeply flawed handling of the case, including the fact that the young men’s convictions were based on coerced confessions and no forensic evidence. Fairstein, who became a crime novelist, resigned from various prominent board positions after the series was aired. Critics also called for a boycott of her books and popularized the hashtag CancelLindaFairstein.The former prosecutor has called her depiction in the series “grossly and maliciously inaccurate”.In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last year, Fairstein said she agreed with the decision to vacate the rape convictions of the five after a DNA match concluded another man had committed the crime, but still insists that other charges – for first-degree assault, robbery, and riot, involving other people who were attacked that night – should have been kept in place against the men.Fairstein’s donation to Klobuchar was not the first time she participated in Democratic politics. She also hosted a fundraiser for Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who is also running for the Democratic nomination, in 2012.Asked about the event, Warren’s campaign said in a statement last year: “This was in 2012 but it was wrong. Linda’s record is troubling … part of our deciding to run our presidential campaign the way we are is the decision to say Elizabeth is not going to give special access to high-dollar donors through closed-door fundraisers.”Fairstein also previously donated $5,400 to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. A 2014 item on Page Six in the New York Post described Fairstein as a personal friend of Bill Clinton, the former US president who is alleged by the tabloid of having once remarked that “half of what I know about New York City I learned [from] Linda’s books”.Klobuchar served as a prosecutor before becoming a senator from Minnesota. At that time, Klobuchar adopted a “tough on crime” policy, which has been criticised by progressives.Writing in the Daily Appeal, Sarah Lustbader, a criminal defence attorney, said Klobuchar’s record was not “callous” or “extreme”, but that she did ramp up incarcerations in a way that was “wrongheaded and cruel”.
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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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