January 07, 2020

Trump’s Fox News Pals Are Picking New Iran Targets On-Air
In the wake of the U.S. airstrike that took out Iran’s top military leader, President Donald Trump repeatedly threatened that his administration could target “very high level & important” Iranian locations, should Tehran choose to viciously retaliate. Trump said he’d even target Iranian cultural sites, a move that would constitute a war crime.It wasn’t immediately clear which dozens of potential targets he was talking about. However, some of the president’s favorite cable-news personalities have seemed eager to recommend new locations for him to blow up. They’ve been telling Trump through the TV for days.Fox & Friends Weekend anchor Pete Hegseth, a top outside adviser to the president, has been his biggest on-air cheerleader for action in Iran, repeatedly taking to Fox to praise the president’s strike and threaten a number of other targets. “Maybe your second general is next if you continue to try to kill Americans,” Hegseth told Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney. “We are the top dog. You respond to us, not the other way around.”“Do they want their economic sites, their military sites, political sites and/or cultural sites targeted?” he said several days later on Fox News. “How about their oil and gas? If they don’t have energy, they have absolutely nothing.”Hegseth further suggested that Trump would be wise to bomb Iranian cultural sites—as the president threatened to do via Twitter—declaring on-air: “I don’t care about Iranian cultural sites and I’ll tell you why: If they could... they would destroy every single one of our cultural sites and build a mosque on top of it.”And while Fox News host and frequent adviser to Trump Sean Hannity has asserted that the U.S. wouldn’t use ground troops in a military confrontation with Iran, he suggested some other options the country could take.Fox Figures Hail Trump’s ‘Peace Through Strength’ After Iran Commander Killed“The president proved something with the caliphate in Syria when he wiped them out. He took off the rules of engagement of Obama and bomb the living hell out of them. Can that be done with Iran?” he said.Moments later, he answered his own question: “I would imagine that those refineries and maybe even those nuclear sites that are buried deep underground could be potential targets.”Other Fox News hosts and guests have suggested other military actions against Iran should be taken imminently.One expert suggested the U.S. should go on a cyber offensive if intelligence officials believe there could be another attack, saying, “We don’t need to wait for something bad to happen for us to react.”During a Fox & Friends interview, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) attempted to justify Trump’s claim that he would strike 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites, by suggesting a new strike could just be against the Iranian capital. “That could be Tehran, that could be their capital, that could be a number of things,” he said. “The bottom line is he’s getting inside their calculus. And finally we have them afraid of what we’re going to do, not the other way around. They better think long and hard before taking their next action, that’s how deterrence works.”During his show earlier this week, Fox Business Network host and informal Trump adviser Lou Dobbs dismissed Nancy Pelosi’s call for a congressional war powers resolution to limit the president’s actions in Iran without congressional authorization, saying she was trying to “constrain the president’s powers to strike targets in Iran.”Other prominent Trump allies and confidants have also floated alternative targets, even suggesting that the fact the president spared them shows his temperament and mercy. Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney who appears regularly on Fox, insisted to The Daily Beast on Monday that Trump’s order to kill Soleimani and others was actually “measured” and restrained, especially compared to military options the president could have taken, such as targeting targeting the Iranian navy. And in the run-up to Thursday’s strike, President Trump did what he normally does: getting riled up while absorbing hours upon hours of Fox News, much of which broadcast scenes of an Iranian-backed militia storming the U.S. embassy in Iraq. When it comes to the president’s favorite Fox News and Fox Business stars, including Hegseth and Hannity, Trump will often seek their private counsel on domestic and foreign policy and other political considerations when they’re off the air.Numerous sources in and out of the administration say that Trump continues to keep a line open to Hegseth, and highly values his advice and on-and-off-air perspectives on policy-making. “The president loves Pete,” said a former senior White House official. “[Pete] has an influence that a lot of people in the administration do not.”For several months last year, Hegseth was instrumental in personally lobbying the president to pardon accused or convicted American war criminals, a highly controversial and widely condemned move on which Trump ultimately followed through. Furthermore, Hegseth has also talked to the president about the case of a former Blackwater mercenary convicted of murder in one of the most infamous atrocities of the Iraq war. Trump is still quietly considering issuing a pardon to save this man from a life sentence, as The Daily Beast reported earlier this month.And now, Hegseth has become one of the single greatest cheerleaders of the president’s decision to kill Soleimani, saying on Fox: “You want your leader to reluctantly be strong, and that’s exactly what the president did here. Kudos to him.” Fox News Host Pete Hegseth Privately Lobbied Trump to Pardon Accused War Criminals
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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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