January 22, 2020

Coronavirus Patient Had Close Contact With 16 in Washington State
SEATTLE—Washington state officials said they have determined the man with the first known case of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States had close contact with at least 16 people since returning from China.But authorities said there was no reason to panic—even as Seattle residents rushed to buy face masks at drug stores and fretted about whether the bug that has killed 17 people overseas would spread across the United States.“I would expect that at some point we’re going to have more cases in the U.S.,” state Health Secretary John Wiesman said, stressing that public health officials are well-equipped and trained to handle and contain outbreaks.The initial patient, a man in his 30s, returned from a trip to China on Jan. 15 but did not fall ill until several days later. He had seen news of the outbreak that has infected hundreds in China and went to a Snohomish County clinic on Jan. 19, and told doctors about his travel history. Samples sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back positive for the virus on Monday, prompting the patient’s hospitalization in an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. Officials confirmed the case the following morning, followed by the afternoon press conference.China’s Deadly Coronavirus Cover-Up Is Getting Worse as First Case Hits U.S.Wiesman said the man, who lives alone, is doing well. He’s being observed in a bio-containment room under precautions that include security guards and a robot with a stethoscope to limit physical contact with hospital staff, KOMO-TV reported.Wiesman said that after confirming the virus, health investigators immediately began tracing the patient’s steps to identify who had close contact with him. He said they had identified and were in the process of notifying and monitoring 16 people—but cautioned that number could rise. Officials are not recommending isolation for those people unless they develop symptoms, at which point they would be infectious, he said.Despite the messages of reassurance, Seattle residents were snapping up available anti-viral face masks. In the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a manager for Bartell Drugs said the store’s stock had been essentially cleaned out by noon on Tuesday. A few blocks away at Rite Aid, a single box of face masks remained, and at a nearby Walgreens, a last-minute shopper bought one of two remaining 20-packs.  Boya, 31, a mental health therapist from Seattle, said the Walgreens face masks weren’t her first choice but would have to do given her “complex” situation. She requested that her last name not be used because both she and her partner would be traveling to China soon, and she worried that the Chinese government hadn’t been entirely truthful about the outbreak’s extent.Boya’s partner was due to fly to Hong Kong and then Chengdu, China, on Thursday, she said, and had enlisted her help after being unable to find any face masks at other stores. In February, Boya said, she herself would fly to Shanghai.Some hospitals also appeared to be taking extra precautions. At the entrance to the Emergency & Trauma Center at Harborview Medical Center near downtown, staff had posted red signs on the sliding glass door and by the metal detector that read, “Ask for a mask if you have a fever, rash, cough, runny nose, red eyes, or feel ill.” The air smelled of alcohol as a gloved security guard wiped down round security trays with Purell.China’s Deadly Coronavirus Cover-Up Is Getting Worse as First Case Hits U.S.A few blocks away, the Swedish First Hill Emergency Room waiting area was quiet and mostly empty, and only one young man wore a face mask. A retired public health worker who was waiting for her granddaughter but declined to give her name said she felt fortunate to be living in the county because of its public health capabilities. Even so, she said, messages about the coronavirus would have to overcome language and cultural barriers to be effective.At Walgreens, Boya agreed that the newly confirmed case didn’t pose an immediate threat to her. “Here, I feel safe,” she said. But her grandparents and some other relatives still live in Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter. She also worried about her partner’s safety and her own during their upcoming trips. “I’m calm but still have concern here,” she said, pointing at her chest.Janet Baseman, a professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, said she was impressed by the rapid response of health officials. “This is the way that the public health surveillance system is supposed to work,” she said. “So I’m very pleased.”The virus, officially called 2019-nCoV, was first identified in December in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China. Officials originally linked the outbreak to a large seafood and animal market. Since then, they have confirmed human-to-human transmission as well, though it’s not yet clear how easily the virus can spread. By Wednesday, more than 400 cases and 17 deaths had been reported in at least five countries, and screenings in the U.S. had expanded to include airports in Chicago and Atlanta.For the general public, Baseman said, “unless they are traveling to affected areas in China, they are at very, very low risk.” Evidence from other coronaviruses like SARS, she said, suggests that person-to-person transmission occurs primarily when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or otherwise comes into close contact with someone else. In this case, she noted, the Washington state patient didn’t report any symptoms until several days after his arrival in the U.S. For other people in the vicinity, she said, “That makes transmission very, very, very unlikely. Usually people do not transmit viruses like this to other people until they have symptoms themselves.”
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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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