January 27, 2020

Dreaming of a Dreamer Deal
Indian Wells, Calif. -- There’s no way a Democratic House and a Republican Senate could pass legislation resolving the future of the Dreamers before Election Day. Or is there?“Dreamers” is the common term for undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children, who benefited from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed them to avoid deportation.The leaders of Stand Together -- the coalition of political and charitable organizations established by billionaire Charles Koch -- seem oddly optimistic; other observers of the immigration issue might even find their belief that a deal could come together this year to be naïve or loony.Brian Hooks, president of the Charles Koch Foundation, is convinced that there is a bipartisan majority on Capitol Hill amenable to enacting a legal permanent status for Dreamers, saying that his team has spoken to more than 200 congressional offices. He summarizes the mood in Congress as having plenty of lawmakers who “want to find a solution, but who are afraid of the extremes.”Jorge Lima, the senior vice president of policy at Americans for Prosperity, laments that the two loudest voices in the immigration debate are the ones pushing for ideas that the broader majority would never accept.“On one extreme, you see calls to abolish the laws and federal agencies designed to keep dangerous people out of our country,” Lima told the attendees at the Stand Together winter meeting in Indian Wells this past Saturday. “And on the other extreme, you see calls for massive cuts to legal immigration and closures at the border. They say that giving opportunities to immigrants means taking opportunities from Americans, even though the evidence says the opposite.”The contention of Hooks and Lima is that there is a sensible majority in the middle that can prompt Congress to act, if they simply make their views known to lawmakers.“Over seventy-five percent of Americans believe that immigration is good -- that’s a record high!” Lima said. “The problem is, right now, many of them don’t know it. And it’s causing them to hesitate to stand up for what they believe in.”There are indeed two major factors, a pair of ticking clocks, that might push Congress to seek out a deal before the election. Sometime in the coming year, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on whether the Trump administration followed proper procedure when it ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by President Barack Obama in 2012. DACA allowed illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to receive renewable two-year work permits and exemption from deportation. The Trump administration argued that Obama’s creation of the program was unconstitutional and attempted to cancel the program. DACA program defenders filed suit, arguing that even if the Trump administration had the authority to rescind the program and offers, the manner in which it reached the decision violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which allows judges to overturn an agency’s decision if it is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.”Neither outcome at the Supreme Court would mean much certainty for the Dreamers. The court could uphold the rulings that the Trump administration decision was arbitrary, capricious and/or an abuse of discretion -- and effectively instruct the administration to go back to the drawing board and start the process of ending the policy again with better justification, which the administration would almost certainly do. (There’s a separate question of how quickly that new replacement version and justification could get enacted.) Or the court could reverse the lower-court rulings and agree with the administration’s reasoning, effectively ending the DACA program.The other big gamble for the program is the 2020 presidential election. Perhaps a Democrat will beat Trump in 2020 and reinstate DACA quickly after being sworn in. Or maybe Trump wins reelection, ensuring that any reinstatement of the program would be on his terms, if it is reinstated at all.This means members of Congress who want to see the Dreamers protected might want to reach some sort of deal to reestablish the DACA program now, giving the administration some sort of concessions on border-security funding or other priorities. Trump might want another set of accomplishments -- an agreement on the Dreamers and another chunk of miles for the border fence -- heading into the 2020 general election. The network is fine with “a more secure border” as being part of a deal on the Dreamers and mentions the poll numbers indicting a majority of Americans want that as an element of immigration policy, too.Last autumn, in an effort to build up grassroots support for legislation that just resolves the issue of the Dreamers, Stand Together, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and The LIBRE Institute launched their “Common Ground,” campaign, and with it an interactive exhibit showcasing the contributions of Dreamers and immigrants. Behind a series of doors are doorway-sized video screens that showcase some element of the argument. One features every president from Reagan to Obama touting the value of immigrants to the United States and the importance of enforcing immigration laws. Another tells the story of a Dreamer from Mexico who joined the U.S. Marine Corps and who fought and died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the Navy Cross, an example of the roughly half-million veterans who are immigrants. Another notes that half of the companies that make up the Fortune 500 were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.After debuting in Miami, and being displayed in Nashville last year, the exhibit is slated to go to events such as SXSW in Austin, as well as this year’s Democratic and Republican conventions in Milwaukee and Charlotte, respectively, as well as Denver, Charleston, New York City, and Oklahoma City.“We welcome anyone who will contribute, and keep out anyone who won’t,” is how Hooks described the network’s preferred philosophy on immigration to the attendees of the organization’s winter meeting. If he and his well-funded network of grassroots organizations have their way, the country will take another step toward that standard by year’s end.
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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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