January 14, 2020
Boris Johnson has hit back at American pressure on the UK to block Chinese firm Huawei from its 5G phone network plans, insisting the public “deserve” the best technology in the world.
Boris Johnson Hits Back At Donald Trump Over Calls To Block Huawei From UK 5G Networks
In a rare public slap down for the White House, the prime minister told the BBC’s Breakfast programme that those who wanted to bar the Beijing-based telecoms giant had to show what possible alternative could work instead.
Johnson’s government is due in coming weeks to decide on whether to go ahead with allowing Huawei to help build “non-core” infrastructure, such as masts and antennae, as part of the next-generation mobile phone network.
British intelligence, not least MI5 and GCHQ’s specialist cyber arm, has repeatedly insisted that the UK can manage any possible security risk posed by the Chinese company, which is part of the communist state.
But Donald Trump has urged other countries into barring Huawei from their systems, and on Monday the US ramped up the pressure when its officials told British counterparts in London that it would be “nothing short of madness” to grant the firm access.Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger presented a new dossier claiming to highlight fresh evidence of Huawei’s security risks, just hours after MI5 chief Sir Andrew Parker said he had “no reason to think” work with the company would jeopardise intelligence-sharing with the US.
Asked about the fresh US demands, a clearly exasperated Johnson told BBC Breakfast: “I say to all those [people], the British public deserve to have access to the best possible technology. We want to put in gigabit broadband for everybody.
“Now if people oppose one brand or another then they have to tell us what’s the alternative, right?”Johnson was careful to stress that he would not jeopardise the UK’s intelligence-sharing ability with the so-called Five Eyes network of countries made up of the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
“On the other hand, let’s be clear, I don’t want as UK prime minister to put in any infrastructure that is going to prejudice our national security or our ability to cooperate with Five Eyes intelligence partners,” he said.
Huawei is one of just three companies that supply equipment to Vodafone, BT and other mobile phone companies for high-speed 5G networks. Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia from Finland are the other firms, but British phone firms say Huawei offers much better value for money.
At a briefing on Monday night, the American officials, who had flown in specially this week, would not spell out what the “relatively recent information” that they had shared with their UK counterparts was, but The Guardian reported it is understood to be of a technical nature.
As well as Pottinger, key officials in the six-strong US delegation included Chris Ford, an assistant secretary in the US state department, and Robert Blair, the special envoy for international telecoms.
Elsewhere in the BBC interview, Johnson was careful to balance his veiled criticism of the US over Huawei with fulsome support over Trump’s plan to axe the Iran nuclear deal.
He said that the current deal, struck between Barack Obama and European partners and Tehran to limit nuclear proliferation, was now seen as having “many faults”.
“Let’s replace it with the Trump deal,” Johnson said, adding that the US president was an effective negotiator.
The PM defended his role during the tensions with Iran, after facing criticism for not returning from his Christmas Caribbean holiday immediately after the US air strike on military leader Qasem Soleimani.
“I was not in this country but I worked very hard, as you can imagine, in making sure there was a European response,” he said.
He said there was no need for Britain to have been informed before the attack: “This was not our operation. There was no reason for us to be told.”Related... Britain Condemns Iran's 'Illegal' Arrest Of UK Ambassador 8 Crucial Issues Buried By The General Election How Boris Johnson Plans To Woo Trump At His First G7 Summit
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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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