January 08, 2020
Latest: MP To Report Peer To Police For Homophobia And Abuse Of Parliament Staff
Peer Accuses MP Of Calling Out His Abusive Behaviour Because She Is Queer
A peer who shouted abuse at parliamentary security staff has accused the MP who highlighted his behaviour of attempting to “settle a score” because she is “queer” and he is opposed to gay marriage.
Lord Ken Maginnis was accused of “one of the worst cases of abuse of security staff I have seen” by SNP MP Hannah Bardell.
The Northern Irish Ulster Unionist peer launched a tirade at staff, calling them “crooked” after he forgot his pass to enter parliament and they would not allow him in, Bardell told the Commons.
The peer did not deny Bardell’s allegations, but instead accused her of seeking “cheap publicity” and trying to “score a few points” because he is opposed to gay marriage.
He also called the security staff member a “little git” who was being a “jobsworth”. 
Bardell, in response, said Lord Maginnis was spouting “homophobic bile” and that taxpayers would be “enraged” to be funding his “comfy job in the House of Lords”.If members of parliament, journalists and staff working in the Palace of Westminster forget their pass they normally need to get a temporary day pass issued by officials.
But Lord Maginnis, who was in 2013 convicted of a road rage assault, instead shouted at security staff at the Westminster underground entrance to parliament and questioned why they did not know who he was after 46 years in parliament.
The peer told HuffPost UK: “[It] would probably all have blown over except this Bardell woman decided to get herself a bit of publicity.
“She and I are known to be on other sides – I am opposed to abortion, I am opposed to gay people like her seeking to change marriage.
“You might say I’m old fashioned, or you could say I’m conservative in Biblical terms – I mean, I’m not a preacher or anything.
“She obviously, being what she is and wanting to make changes, decided she would score a few points for herself.
“With no disrespect, I have had a lot of experience before politics. [...]
“I was a major for 12 years in the Ulster Defence Regiment in Northern Ireland – I survived 10 assassination attempts – so I’m not altogether a softie, if you know what I mean by that.
“Queers like Ms Bardell don’t particularly annoy me.
“Okay, she’s got her cheap publicity out of it.”Responding to Lord Maginnis’s comments, Bardell said: “It is unbelievable that someone who plays a part in the UK legislative process – albeit unelected – has made these comments.
“These views, and his behaviour, have no place in our society and the British taxpayer should be rightly enraged to be funding Lord Maginnis’ comfy job in the House of Lords.
“I challenged his behaviour because staff do not deserve to be subjected to this kind of abuse.
“Since this incident, House staff have been in touch to tell me they’ve also received abuse when challenging MPs and peers, so this is clearly not an isolated case.
“Lord Maginnis has now not only admitted to this terrible behaviour, but he is now turning to spouting this homophobic bile. 
“While I might not annoy him, homophobic, rude and intolerable men abusing their positions of power annoy me, greatly.”
Lord Maginnis, who is 81, said he could stand in one position for a long time, unless he has something to lean on or sit on, because he is disabled, walks with a stick, and has diabetes – which means he has no feeling in his feet or legs. 
He said: “This little git [the security staff member] knew exactly what the situation was. I said: ‘Do you not know me?’
“He said: ‘I do know you but I have to see your pass.’”
Maginnis claimed a number of fellow peers then arrived on the scene and vouched for him as a Lords member “but the guy decided to be awkward”.
“It doesn’t happen at any other single entrance in parliament,” he said.
“He wanted to walk me about a quarter of a mile.
“With my arthritis and my lack of balance and particularly at that time of the day I don’t like somebody who knows me trying to make a fool of me.
“And, yeah, I did shout at him and tell him he was a jobsworth or something.
“I don’t deny it.”Make sense of politics. Sign up to the Waugh Zone and get the political day in a nutshell.
In an earlier response to Bardell in the Commons after prime minister’s questions, speaker Lindsay Hoyle said he expected the Lords authorities to look into the issue.
“No member of staff of either House should have to put up with abuse,” Hoyle said.
Responding to the abuse allegation alone, a House of Lords spokesperson said: “Parliament has a clear behaviour code which defines what is and isn’t an acceptable way to behave.
“All members of staff have the right to work in an environment free from abuse or bullying.
“Unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with seriously, independently and with effective sanctions.” Related... Peer Accused Of Launching Tirade Of Abuse At Parliament Security Staff Boris Johnson Says Murderer Who Fought London Bridge Terrorist Should Be 'Recognised' For Bravery Boris Johnson Says Qassem Soleimani Had 'Blood Of British Troops On His Hands'
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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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