January 06, 2020

Scandinavian woman forced to withdraw rape claim in case similar to British teens Cyprus ordeal
A Scandinavian woman says she was forced by Cypriot police to withdraw a rape claim or face arrest, in a striking parallel to the case of a British teenager who was allegedly gang raped on the Mediterranean island. The Scandinavian woman said police officers questioned her aggressively for several hours after she was raped by two men outside a nightclub. The officers accused her of lying and said that if she did not withdraw the rape claim they would arrest her and send her to prison. Her account bears striking similarities to the alleged treatment of a British teenager who was convicted last week of lying about being gang-raped by Israeli tourists in the resort town of Ayia Napa. She made the initial complaint in July but 10 days later, after being questioned without a lawyer for eight hours in a police station, signed a retraction statement. The alleged gang rape of the British teenager happened in the resort of Ayia Napa Credit: AFP She faces sentencing on Tuesday  and could be jailed for up to a year and fined 1,700 euro (£1,500) at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni. The 19-year-old British woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the trial that officers threatened to arrest her and her friends unless she retracted the claims of being gang raped by a group of young Israeli men. After reading about the Ayia Napa case, the Scandinavian woman decided to come forward with her account of similar treatment at the hands of the Cypriot police 20 years ago. It is the first time she has spoken publicly of the assault and has previously only discussed it with her doctor and her husband. Now aged 43, she was 21 when she met the men in a nightclub in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, in January 1998. They offered to give her a lift to her hotel. Instead, they raped her in a car park. “I fought for my life and thought I was going to die,” she told The Telegraph. She went to the nearest police station to report the rape and was taken to a hospital for an examination. She was then taken to a police station for questioning. “The main investigator was extremely brutal and aggressive. I was in big shock so I had some difficulties remembering details. “This made him very angry. He then started accusing me of making the whole story up to receive money from my insurance company.” The same allegation was made by in court by Cypriot police against the British woman. Both alleged victims said they were mystified by the accusation because they did not think that holiday insurance covered rape and had no intention of claiming any financial compensation. “I was very afraid and felt trapped in the room with them. They treated me as a big criminal. They kept me in the police station for many hours. They told me that if I didn’t withdraw the rape allegation they would arrest me and send me to prison. So I did and they let me go,” said the Scandinavian woman, who asked to remain anonymous. She said she was still deeply affected by the ordeal and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder – just like the British teenager who is on trial. “The treatment I received from police was terrible,” she said. Michael Polak, a British lawyer representing the teenager in the trial Credit: AFP Michael Polak, a British lawyer representing the British woman, told The Telegraph: “This case bears remarkable similarities to the teenager’s case. It raises serious questions about the investigation of rape in Cyprus and the treatment of rape complainants there.” In a report in 1998, a Norwegian newspaper claimed that police on the island routinely dismissed rape claims, treating the victims as liars. The report quoted a Norwegian tour operator who said that “police never take rape claims seriously. All such claims are treated as false.” “Police have a theory that tourists make such allegations so they can claim expenses for their holiday,” the report said. A senior Cyprus police officer was quoted as saying: "Why rape when it's so easy to find somebody to have sex with?"
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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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