January 19, 2020

Impeachment: Trump wants Senate trial over before State of the Union address
* Graham outlines unlikely aim given battles to come * A Very Stable Genius review: at the court of King Donald * Impeachment: is Trump set to survive and win a second term?Donald Trump wants his impeachment trial to end before his state of the union address in just two weeks’ time, Lindsey Graham said on Sunday.“His mood is, to go to the state of the union [on 4 February] with this behind him and talk about what he wants to do for the rest of 2020 and what he wants to do for the next four years,” the South Carolina senator and close Trump ally told Fox News Sunday.That timeline is ambitious, given overwhelming public support for a fair airing of the charges against Trump at his Senate trial, in which opening arguments will be heard on Tuesday. Graham conceded that a swift dismissal of the charges, which he had hoped for, will not be possible.The trial could include testimony from top Trump advisers with firsthand knowledge of his alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. But the White House has indicated that Trump would invoke executive privilege to prevent such advisers from testifying, setting up a court fight that could drag the trial out for weeks or longer.“The sooner this is over the better for the country,” Graham insisted.On Saturday evening, House Democrats and the Trump legal team outlined their approaches to the trial.The House impeachment managers, who will act as prosecutors, declared the president must be removed for putting his political career ahead of the public trust and seeking to hide that betrayal from Congress and the American people.The seven managers led by intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff published a 46-page tiral brief. A 61-page “statement of material facts” was attached.In a much slimmer filing, the White House replied to a congressional writ of summons notifying Trump of the charges against him and inviting him to attend the trial.The six-page White House filing was a work of blanket denial, stating: “President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment.”> If all of the president’s arguments are true, then the president truly is above the law> > Jason CrowSigned by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and by Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer to Trump, it also charged the Democrats with “a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away”.Speaking to ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Schiff noted that the White House did not attempt to rebut the case on its facts.“It’s surprising in that it really doesn’t offer much new beyond the failed arguments we heard in the House,” he said. “The facts aren’t seriously contested.”Another impeachment manager, Jason Crow of Colorado, said the White House was in effect arguing that Trump was above the law.“If all of the president’s arguments are true, that a president can’t be indicted, and that the abuse of power, the abuse of public trust doesn’t count as an impeachable offense – if that is true, then no president can be held accountable,” he told CNN’s State of the Union. “Then the president truly is above the law.”The battle lines roughly plotted by the two documents will be engaged in earnest on Tuesday, when the House managers are expected to begin making their case against the president. A two-thirds majority of senators would be required to remove Trump from office. That is vastly unlikely, given a Republican party aligned behind the president and a Senate leadership openly in lockstep with the White House.Trump must be removed, Democrats argue, owing to the egregiousness of his past misconduct and his ongoing efforts to encourage foreign tampering in US elections.“President Trump’s continuing presence in office undermines the integrity of our Democratic processes and endangers our national security,” the managers wrote. “President Trump’s abuse of power requires his conviction and removal from office.”On Sunday Alan Dershowitz, the controversial Harvard law professor who has joined Trump’s legal team, argued on CNN that the charges against the president were not impeachable because abuse of power does not constitute a “high crime and misdemeanor” as stipulated in the US constitution as grounds for impeachment.That view is an extreme outlier among legal scholars, but it is not the only time that Dershowitz, who formerly represented OJ Simpson and the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has gone against his colleagues.Dershowitz denied that his past representation of and friendship with Epstein could “backfire” in the impeachment trial, besmirching the president’s defense in the eyes particularly of women in Senate and beyond.“They understand that it’s pure McCarthyism to hold a lawyer responsible for having represented controversial clients,” he said.Republicans have never attempted to mount a point-for-point rebuttal of evidence amassed by Democrats that Trump mounted a months-long effort to extract announcements from Ukraine that Trump thought could damage Joe Biden, his political rival.Evidence indicates that the effort derailed the career of a respected US ambassador at the wishes of corrupt Ukrainian elements, potentially threatening her personal security; used the promise of a White House meeting to extract the “deliverable” Trump wanted; and escalated to the suspension by Trump of security aid for Ukraine appropriated by Congress.The Democratic briefing highlighted evidence that has emerged since Trump was impeached in the House in December. That evidence includes documents and testimony from Lev Parnas, a former close associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s designated point person in Ukraine.Identifying himself as the “personal counsel to President Trump”, Giuliani sought a meeting with Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy in May 2019, according to Parnas evidence cited in the briefing.“President Trump has betrayed the American people and the ideals on which the nation was founded,” the Democratic briefing concluded.“Unless he is removed from office, he will continue to endanger our national security, jeopardize the integrity of our elections, and undermine our core constitutional principles.”
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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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