January 25, 2020

I really hope she is the future: AOCs support of Sanders fuels 2024 speculation
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s aid of Bernie Sanders’ campaign is raising talk of the possibility she might run for the White House herselfIt was billed as a rally for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. But the only aging white man on the platform was the film-maker Michael Moore, and attendee Brittany Springmeier wasn’t there to see him.She was in Iowa City for real star of the show, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.“She’s speaking for us. She’s speaking for the people. She has a passion for the millennials. She’s speaking for everyone in America who doesn’t have a voice,” said Springmeier, a millennial herself who is unable to work because of a disability.With the Vermont senator trapped in Washington DC by the impeachment hearings, Ocasio-Cortez was fronting for him at the University of Iowa on Friday evening in the last days before the Iowa Democratic caucuses.Much of the crowd had already made up its mind to back Sanders, which was just as well because the New York congresswoman gave a 26-minute speech without once mentioning the man she was ostensibly there to promote. A passionate discourse on healthcare and the case for comprehensive public insurance, a cause at the heart of Sanders campaign, then gave way to a rousing appeal to build a movement to transform “a nation in decline”.Ocasio-Cortez disparaged the Democratic leadership in Congress as fearful of any radical policies that might cost votes and called on supporters to “come together and organise” to repeated cheers.But through it all, even as Sanders picture stared down on her, his name did not once cross the congresswoman’s lips.Ocasio-Cortez has been unstinting in her support of Sanders’ presidential bid but Friday’s rally will only reinforce the perception that his campaign also provides her with a platform to push a more visionary agenda. That in turn has fueled media speculation about the extent of the 30 year-old’s ambitions, and the possibility she might run for the White House herself in 2024 – should Trump win a second term.Whatever her plans, the congresswoman will not have been discouraged by the reception in Iowa City, where she was greeted with an enthusiasm bordering on adulation.Jonathan Katz, a high school math teacher from New York City who travelled to Iowa to canvass for Sanders, was at the rally specifically to see Ocasio-Cortez.“When she showed the courage after Bernie’s heart attack to say ‘I’m going to be supporting Bernie’, my respect went up 1,000%. Because here’s someone at Bernie’s most difficult moment in the campaign saying ‘I’m with you Bernie’,” said Katz.Ocasio-Cortez’s backing has meant more than throwing her weight behind Sanders’ positions. She has amplified some of them, not least on the environment with her push for a Green New Deal, and injected a much greater diversity of voices into the Vermont senator’s campaign, which he has frankly admitted were lacking in his 2016 run.“She’s been very important to Bernie, bringing people in, especially young people,” said Springmeier. “She’s helped bring in minorities, bring some light to the fact that they don’t really have a voice. I think a lot of people are drawn to her who may not otherwise have been interested in politics, and that helps Bernie.“I really hope she continues on the politics. She’s a force to be reckoned with. I really think she’s going to do great things for the people, for we the people. She’s working in the establishment but I think she’s going to be speaking for us.”If Ocasio-Cortez has reinforced the Sanders campaign, it’s clear she can also draw from that enhanced strength. For some of Sanders supporters, she offers a vision beyond his presidential campaign. Wendy Stevenson, a librarian who caucused for Sanders four years ago, came to the rally with her 11-year-old daughter, Estelle, who wanted to see Ocasio-Cortez after watching a Netflix documentary about her.“I love her vision. I love her guts to go in first term as a representative and propose the Green New Deal. It changes the way our economy will work. It’s exciting. You need that kind of energy and ideas out there. And she’s not scared to challenge the establishment. Even the Democrats, she’s pushing them further than they feel comfortable going. I love having that voice,” she said.But for all that, Stevenson is not sure on where Ocasio-Cortez should set her sights. For now she wants to see her remain in Congress, where she thinks she could rise to great heights and have real power and influence over the policies that matter most.“I hope she’ll be a powerful future politician that can change the way things are done. I feel like she really feels strongly about representing her people in her district. She’s still young. I’m excited that things are moving further to the left with a lot more fresh ideas. I really hope she is the future.”
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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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