January 12, 2020

Warren Tries to Ease Iowans’ Concerns About Electability
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren barnstormed across Iowa this weekend, seeking to put to rest questions about her electability and her ability to build a coalition to defeat Donald Trump.With less than a month before the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucuses, the Massachusetts senator is trying to regain her momentum in a state where she had been the front-runner in the fall. A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll released Friday showed Bernie Sanders in the lead in Iowa, while Warren was virtually tied with Pete Buttigieg. National front-runner Joe Biden was in fourth place.As her campaign put on about 15 events in the state ahead of the Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines on Tuesday, she portrayed herself as the most effective Democratic standard-bearer against Trump in November. She sought to reassure caucus goers that her sweeping progressive agenda wouldn’t be an impediment to building a broad coalition if she became the Democratic nominee.“All I can say is, Democrats, get a better sales pitch,” she said in Mason City, Iowa, on Saturday. “Fear doesn’t win. Courage and vision win.”Weak Minority SupportWarren has weak support among African-Americans and other minority voters, who form a crucial segment of the Democratic electorate. She has also seen her advantage among women voters slip, though she maintains a base of mostly white, older progressive supporters.She was joined in Iowa by surrogates to help her broaden her appeal. Julian Castro, who dropped out of the 2020 race earlier this year, campaigned with her Sunday in Marshalltown, where more than a third of the population is Hispanic. Castro pitched Warren as a unity candidate who could bring together a diverse coalition.“She knows what it’s like to struggle,” said Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration. “She’s about making sure that no matter who you are in this country that you have a fair shot. She can bring this party together.”Warren also faced questions about her ability to get voters across the ideological spectrum on board with her progressive proposals. At a town hall in Mason City on Saturday, she pointed to polling that shows her wealth tax is popular among Democrats, Republicans and independents, and said many Americans share her mistrust of large corporations like Amazon and Chevron.“We may disagree sometimes, but we are in this fight together to build a better America,” Warren said.No to ‘Factionalism’On Sunday, Warren called out Sanders after a report in Politico that he had instructed his campaign volunteers to tell voters leaning toward her that she would only appeal to “highly-educated, more affluent people” and is “bringing no new bases” into the party.“We all saw the impact of the factionalism in 2016 and we can’t have a repeat of that,” Warren told reporters in Marshalltown on Sunday. “We need someone who will bring our party together.”Warren largely stuck to her campaign message at her events in Iowa this weekend: fight corruption, take the influence of money out of Washington and push for “big structural change” to America’s economic system to address issues affecting working-class families.To convince voters that her plans are viable, Warren recalled the challenges and opposition she faced from banks when she pitched her idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Obama administration.“Why can’t you make it happen? Because it hasn’t happened before?” Warren asked the crowd at a town hall in Mason City. “Well, here’s my view of the world: It’s going to happen now because it has to happen now. This country is in a crisis.”Katie Porter, a U.S. representative from California who is a fifth-generation Iowan, made several campaign stops on Warren’s behalf around the state, including a house party with undecided voters in Cedar Rapids.Porter won a historically Republican district in 2018, and was one of a record number of women who won House seats during the midterms. At the town hall in Mason City, she offered voters nail polish in the campaign’s liberty green color if they committed to caucusing for Warren.Porter, who took Warren’s classes a law student at Harvard, said Warren has been on the side of working families for the majority of her career.“Do you know what Elizabeth talked about that very first day of class? She talked about the exact same thing that she’s talking about every single day of this campaign,” Porter said.The CNN/Des Moines Register Iowa poll had some good news for Warren: Her favorability ratings were high, and almost half of caucus goers said they could be persuaded to support a different candidate. But Warren’s national polling paints a different picture. She polls at 14.8%, trailing Biden at 29% and Sanders at 20%, according to Real Clear Politics’ average.Momentum SlowedThroughout the summer, Warren’s momentum in Iowa seemed unstoppable. She drew larger crowds than any other candidate at events like the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding or the Polk County steak fry. In September, she overtook Biden for the lead in the Iowa poll.But then her surge stalled, as Warren struggled to answer questions about how she would fund her Medicare For All plan. Under pressure from her rivals to be more specific, she spelled out a financing mechanism, and later came out with a proposal that would delay her health care overhaul until her third year in office.By November, a poll showed Buttigieg in the lead in Iowa. Warren’s campaign made changes, opening her town halls to more voter questions. She also tempered her rhetoric on Medicare for All. By the end of the year, her polling had slipped and her fundraising had dipped. Sanders, Biden and Buttigieg all raised more money than her in the final quarter of 2019.Warren is set to face off at the debate stage on Tuesday against five other candidates -- Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer -- giving her a chance to make her mark before the caucus.“It’s a high stakes game here and she needs to turn some people’s minds around very quickly. For Iowa, this is going to be the last big opportunity,” said Patty Judge, a former lieutenant governor and secretary of agriculture of Iowa.Warren needs to “get more aggressive, Judge added. “She is a person that will interrupt mid-sentence to tell you what she thinks. That’s just Elizabeth.”To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Max Berley, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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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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