January 08, 2020

Carlos Ghosn: I Have Documents Showing Nissan, Japan Officials Set Me Up
TOKYO—Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of auto giant Nissan, who was under house arrest in Japan until he escaped on Dec. 29, came out swinging at his two-hour press conference in Beirut today. In an effort to get back in shape after more than four months altogether in solitary confinement, he started training in boxing this summer in a gym in this city’s Minato-ward. A 45-year-old banker who trained at the same place told The Daily  Beast, “For a 65-year-old guy, he had quite a punch. Which is to say, when you hit the boxing mitt right, it makes a kind of delightful thwacking sound. That’s a good hit. Ghosn was making a lot of thwacks.” Today, Ghosn was parrying, jabbing, and hitting back with dignity and grace. There were no knockout blows and he pulled his punches on the issues of Japanese government involvement in his prosecution for alleged financial misconduct, but he was clearly on the offense and no one was able to back him into a corner. The press conference started at 10 p.m. Japan time and was watched worldwide. He had been scheduled to face trial in 2021. Ghosn tried to hold a press conference in April last year after more than three months in detention after the initial 2018 arrest. He was immediately re-arrested by prosecutors and put back in solitary, in an apparent attempt to muzzle him. He pointed out that the Tokyo prosecutors issuing an arrest warrant for his wife, Carole, on Tuesday appeared to be another attempt to make him shut up.  Carlos Ghosn’s ‘Great Escape’ Writes a Hollywood Ending to Japanese ImprisonmentAfter being kept quiet for months by Japan’s prosecutors, under a Damocles sword threatening that if he held a press conference, he would be re-arrested and thrown into what he called “the pig box,” Ghosn spoke out today. Ghosn asserted that he had “actual evidence” and documents that would show that Nissan executives had planned his downfall in conjunction with the Japanese government. He expressed his belief, at the conference, as he expressed to me last July, that he was set up for a downfall because Japan did not want Renault to take over Nissan. He named several Nissan executives as being instrumental in the attempt to put him in prison for the rest of his life. Ghosn said his treatment in a Japanese jail was brutal. He was confined to a cell with a tiny window and only allowed to shower twice a week, in solitary confinement. He was questioned eight hours a day without a lawyer present, or being informed of the charges against him. The prosecutors kept shouting at him to confess and told him if he would only confess that he would go free. “I was brutally taken away from my work as I knew it, ripped from my work, my family and my friends,” he said. Ironically, the Japanese media, which except for a few periodicals, kept leaking information from Nissan and the prosecutors without scrutiny, was supposed to be completely shut out of the press conference. That was not quite the case but the usual swarm of Japanese media was not to be seen. Ghosn questioned whether his prosecution had been good for anyone. He pointed out the value of Nissan’s shares had fallen severely and so had confidence in the automaker. When questioned as to how far the alleged conspiracy against him went, he minced his words and said, “I don’t think Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was involved…”The Japanese government has been placing great pressure on the government of Lebanon to keep Ghosn in line, and requesting his extradition. When a Japanese reporter indirectly accused him of resenting Japan, Ghosn replied that he loved Japan and that he would hope the country could be improved, to a place where justice would be evenly distributed. In addition, after enduring months of being written up poorly by the Japanese press, he pointed out to the Japanese reporter talking to him that for a prosecutor to talk to the press is illegal but it happens all the time—accusing the prosecutors of also breaking the laws that they are supposed to uphold. It was an uppercut that made the Japanese press wince, from across the globe. Ghosn kept pounding in one point again and again: He was willing to face a trial but only in a venue where he could have a fair shot of proving his innocence. In Japan, with its 99.4 percent conviction rate, it seems like the fight would be fixed before it even started.
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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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