January 15, 2020

Lev Parnas Says Trump Lied About What He Knew on Ukraine
(Bloomberg) -- Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, accused President Donald Trump of lying for saying that he didn’t know what Parnas and Giuliani were doing in Ukraine.In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, Parnas said, “I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president,” Parnas said.“President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” he added in the interview, which was broadcast on the same day that Democratic members of the U.S. House walked across the Capitol to deliver the two impeachment articles against Trump to the Republican-controlled Senate.Trump denied knowing Parnas after he and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, were charged with campaign finance violations in October, although there are photographs of the three men together.Parnas worked with Giuliani to dig up political dirt in Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.In the interview, his first since he was charged, Parnas said he was instructed by Giuliani to tell Ukrainian officials that all U.S. aid to Ukraine would be withheld if Ukraine didn’t announce an investigation into the Bidens.Parnas said he was working as part of Trump’s legal team and that Giuliani would tell Ukrainian officials that Parnas was working on behalf of Trump so the Ukrainians would take him seriously.He also said that Vice President Mike Pence was directed to try to secure an agreement from the Ukrainians during a meeting in early September.Parnas said a trip that Pence was scheduled to make to attend the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was canceled because Trump was mad that the Ukrainians hadn’t announced an investigation.Parnas did not provide evidence of his accusations against Trump or his administration. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday night.Parnas’ lawyer received permission from the judge in his case to give documents related to Ukraine to a House committee this week.Some of that material prompted House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel to demand information from the State Department regarding possible security risks to U.S. embassy personnel in Kyiv, including former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.Parnas and Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, were “exchanging apparently highly sensitive information regarding the whereabouts of and security protocols” for Yovanovitch when she was ambassador, Engel wrote. The exchanges took place last March.The House released additional documents from Parnas on its website Wednesday, including text and telephone messages.In messages released on Tuesday, Hyde suggested that someone had Yovanovitch under surveillance near Kyiv.“They will let me know when she’s on the move,” he wrote to Parnas. Minutes later, Hyde wrote, “They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.” He added, “Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money... What I was told.”The next day Hyde wrote, “my contacts are asking what is the next step because they cannot keep going to check people will start to ask questions.”A lawyer for Yovanovitch called for an investigation.“Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing,” the lawyer, Lawrence Robbins, said on Tuesday night. “We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.”Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, is under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York for possible campaign finance violations and a failure to register as a foreign agent as part of an active investigation into his financial dealings, according to three U.S. officials.To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Strohm in Washington at cstrohm1@bloomberg.net;Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net, John Harney, Kevin WhitelawFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©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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