January 16, 2020

Trump’s Impeachment Trial Kicks Off With GOP Moderates Under Pressure
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s impeachment moves to the GOP-controlled Senate where the president and Democrats will battle over a small group of Republicans whose votes will determine the course of a trial on whether he should be removed from office.The Senate proceedings will begin formally on Thursday with a show of pageantry that includes the reading of two impeachment articles and U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts swearing in 100 senators as jurors. Yet one of the most pressing and contentious issues -- whether to meet Democratic demands for witnesses -- will remain unresolved for more than a week.The seven House Democrats chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday to argue the impeachment case will have their best shot when the trial fully gets under way early next week to persuade at least four Republicans that new witnesses must be heard and new evidence presented.Despite Trump’s conflicting statements about wanting witnesses to defend him during the Senate trial, White House officials said Wednesday the president’s team is seeking a short trial and that no additional testimony is needed.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that’s his preference as well, but it may be up to his Republican colleagues, Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Lamar Alexander.All four have said they’re open to hearing new testimony. Together they have the power to join with Democrats on key questions like whether to subpoena former National Security Adviser John Bolton, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and a trove of documents sought by the House but blocked by the president.Collins said Wednesday she’s satisfied that they will “ensure a roll call vote on the overall issue of whether or not to have witnesses.”The trial is almost certain to end with Trump’s acquittal on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress; 67 votes are required to convict and no Republican senator has said the articles laid out by House merit his removal from office. But the entire proceeding will hang over his bid for re-election as well as his legacy.“This is a difficult time for our country, but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate,” McConnell said after the House impeachment managers marched to the Senate chamber for a ceremonial delivery of the impeachment articles. “I’m confident this body can rise above short-termism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation. We can do this, and we must.”Before the trial fully gets under way on Tuesday, the Senate must summon the president to respond to the charges and make other procedural moves, including adopting a resolution setting the rules. McConnell has said they would parallel those set out for the 1999 impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton.Assuming that resolution is adopted by 51 senators without changes, the impeachment managers will have several days to be present their case, followed by the defense, questions from senators and then either votes to extend the trial or wrap it up and declare Trump guilty or not guilty.Once the House managers and Trump’s counsel begin presenting their cases, senators will find themselves in an unusual setting.They’ve been told they must stay seated at their desks for the proceedings with only reading material related to the case and have been admonished to avoid even talking to neighboring senators. Their telephones and other electronic devices will be kept in special cubbies in the cloakrooms, and access to the Senate side of the Capitol will be unusually limited for both reporters and staff. The trial may go on for six days a week.First MeetingIn the House, the seven lawmakers who’ll make up the prosecution team led by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California met as a group for the first time Wednesday afternoon, along with representatives from Pelosi’s office and Intelligence and Judiciary committee legal teams.Schiff will read the articles of impeachment in the Senate on Thursday.Several members said little was discussed about trial strategies or what assignments they will have in pulling together and presenting the case.“You know what? We haven’t discussed to that level of detail yet,” said Representative Val Demings of Florida.Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said he and his House manager colleagues will likely work over the weekend in preparation.The managers can file certain preliminary motions under the rules of impeachment, and also file a trial brief stating its overall case. Nadler said one focus of House legal arguments from the start will be to argue for the allowing of evidence not considered or available in the House’s impeachment investigation.The House inquiry focused on alleged efforts by Trump to use U.S. military assistance as leverage to get Ukraine’s government to probe Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, a potential challenger in 2020.Additional EvidenceThe attempt to sway Collins, Romney and the other GOP senators had begun well before the first arguments are made on the Senate floor.“Above all, a fair trial must include additional documents and relevant witnesses,” Nadler said.Among the additional evidence, Nadler cited the materials turned over by Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who was central to the attempt to pressure UkraineA lawyer for Parnas, who is under indictment on campaign finance-related charges, turned over to House investigators a trove of notes, emails and text messages that Democrats said “further corroborates the findings and evidence related to the president’s scheme, which was laid out in the Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report.”The material includes a May 2019 letter from Giuliani to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy requesting a meeting “in my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.”Schiff said the materials from Parnas showed that Giuliani’s back-channel effort to influence Ukraine was directed by Trump. “There is no fobbing this off on others,” he said. “The president was the architect of this scheme.”He said the documents are only a “small sample” of the kinds of material that were withheld by the White House during the House investigation. “Those documents should be demanded by the senators,” Schiff said.Since the impeachment process got started in the House in September, Republicans and Democrats have exchanged charges of bias and accusations that one side or the other was seeking a pre-determined outcome.Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said an impeachment trial is a “unique process” that is unlike a regular court proceeding.“They call us a jury but we’re hardly disinterested,” Cornyn said. “So the analogies we are all trying to make” to judicial trials “have their limitations.”\--With assistance from Daniel Flatley and Erik Wasson.To contact the reporters on this story: Steven T. Dennis in Washington at sdennis17@bloomberg.net;Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net;Laura Litvan in Washington at llitvan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Joe Sobczyk, John HarneyFor 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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