January 08, 2020
Angela Rayner looks set to be the first deputy Labour leader contender to make the ballot as a clutch of MPs got behind her campaign. 
Angela Rayner Surges Ahead In Deputy Leader Race – But The Frontrunner Has Competition
The shadow education secretary shot ahead in the first round of MP nominations, bagging the support of 16 other MPs – including herself, just five short of the 22 needed to make the ballot.
But the favourite faces competition after the first hustings on Wednesday saw two of the shadow education secretary’s rivals impress MPs.
Ian Murray, the party’s only remaining Scottish MP, made a passionate case for reviving Labour’s fortunes north of the border, a pitch that won over six backers and put him in second place.
Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow sports minister and qualified doctor, was also said to have been “refreshing”, with a number of moderate MPs prepared to give her support.
Corbyn allies Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler, who are also vying to replace Tom Watson, were less popular with MPs, according to those in the Westminster committee room, but may prove a hit with the party’s left-wing membership if they make it onto the ballot paper. 
Rayner‘s opening pitch included telling MPs “my story is your story – one of the labour moment and one of Labour in government” as she sought to bring onside her parliamentary colleagues.Labour deputy leader nominations:Rosena Allin Khan: 2Richard Burgon: 5Dawn Butler: 3Ian Murray: 6Angela Rayner: 16— Rachel Wearmouth (@REWearmouth) January 8, 2020Barnsley MP Steph Peacock and Ilford South’s Sam Tarry were among those who left the debate backing Rayner. 
Peacock said: “I thought Angie did very well. I’ll be nominating her. She’s got an incredibly strong back story and she really connects with people.” 
She added: “I think they all put in a good show and all had different things to offer. Ian Murray, for example, is in a unique position, being the only remaining Scottish MP.” 
Murray, who a number of MPs said was “superb”, has survived three election surges from the SNP in Scotland to hang on to his Edinburgh South seat.
He got laughs by jokingly referring to himself as “the cockroach after the nuclear holocaust”.
“I’m standing for deputy leader because of my track record in beating the odds,” he said, highlighting – like Rayner – his working class roots. 
“I decided to put my name forward because I have what it takes to help Labour win again across the UK. Yes, Scotland’s voice needs to be heard at the top of the party, but we must also send a message to every nation and region of the UK, where too many voters don’t think they are being heard. Every part of our UK matters.” 
Murray also sought to win over doubters who fear that Labour could end up with men for both deputy leader and leader, as shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer was surging ahead for the top job.
The Scottish MP promised he would push for a second female deputy in such circumstances.
The tone of the debate was “extremely positive” overall, MPs said. Candidates were asked about the contact rate in their constituencies, which reveals the number of voters who have been canvassed.
MPs said that Butler, who is the shadow equalities minister, had to text her office to ask while Burgon avoided answering. 
The shadow justice secretary, a staunch ally of the outgoing leader, said he would be a “campaigning deputy leader”, that he saw the party as a “a coalition of socialists, social democrats and trade unions” and that “unity is strength”.
Burgon has backing from the new 2019 intake of MPs, including Ian Byrne and Zarah Sultana. 
Butler, meanwhile, stressed she was loyal to the party and would rebuild trust. 
Both MPs won over a handful of their colleagues. 
Allin-Khan got backing from Anna McMorrin; new MP for Putney, Fleur Anderson; and the chair of the women’s parliamentary Labour party, Rosie Duffield.
She said she was “grieving” after the December 12 general election, which saw the Conservatives record an 80-seat majority. 
“With your help, I am determined to snatch the keys off Boris Johnson,” she said. 
In the first round of MP nominations, however, just two officially backed her. 
After a three-month campaign, which is likely to include a series of hustings with members, the winner of the deputy leader contest will be announced in April. Related... Jeremy Corbyn Was '10 Out Of 10' As Labour Leader, Says Rebecca Long Bailey Rosena Allin-Khan Launches Labour Deputy Leadership Bid Rebecca Long Bailey Officially Launches Labour Leadership Bid
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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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