January 28, 2020

Prince Andrew: I’m Ready to Talk. The FBI Never Asked. Feds: Oh Yes, We Did
If you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get The Royalist in your inbox every Sunday.Prince Andrew and the FBI were involved in a furious war of words Tuesday, after he denied claims made by the U.S. attorney for Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, that he has refused to cooperate with American authorities investigating Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse.Andrew said no request had been received, and he was ready to talk. However a spokesperson for Berman’s office told The Daily Beast they stood by the prosecutor’s comments, specifically the claim that they had “made several attempts to contact” Andrew’s representatives.Andrew, 59, however, was said to be “angry and bewildered,” according to The Daily Telegraph, at allegations made by Berman.On Monday, Berman called out Andrew for giving “zero co-operation” to the investigation into Epstein at a press conference held outside Epstein's infamous front door.“Nothing could be further from the truth,” a source described as “close to” Andrew told The Telegraph, “The Duke is more than happy to talk to the FBI but he hasn’t been approached by them yet.“He is angry about the way this is being portrayed and bewildered as to why this was said in New York. It seems certain people are jumping the gun.”However law-enforcement sources were adamant that they “stood by” Berman’s remarks.Berman said he was taking the rare step of calling Andrew out by name because Andrew himself, in his disastrous Newsnight interview, had said: “I am willing to help any appropriate law-enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”While many observers saw Berman’s remarks as a desperate (and likely unsuccessful) attempt to shame Prince Andrew into living up to his earlier vow, Duncan Levin, a former federal and New York state prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s office, saw something else: evidence of the authorities’ determination to leave no stone unturned as they go after the rich and powerful global network which Epstein cultivated.Levin, who is now a managing partner at Tucker Levin, PLLC, told The Daily Beast that while it was “highly unusual for a prosecutor to make a public statement about a witness’s reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement” there is “nothing usual about this case, in any way. Prince Andrew is not your typical witness, by any stretch of the imagination.”Levin says that while U.S. law enforcement “have no way of forcing Prince Andrew to testify, or to co-operate in their probe” to read Berman’s actions as only an expression of frustration would be a mistake.It is that, to be sure, but he also saw it as evidence of a steely determination to collar some of Epstein’s powerful pals.“They are doggedly pursuing every angle in this case. Now, why is that unusual? Because the defendant is dead. Usually that is the end of a case. But they clearly are digging in to this case and not letting go.“This is a case that is going to be investigated until there is no investigation left to be done. They are turning over every single rock. They are trying to do everything they can to bring some measure of justice to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein. I think this signals how serious U.S. law enforcement is. They will pursue every single angle and put as much pressure on witnesses as possible—including members of the Royal Family.”But what can this pressure really achieve?“A lot of hinges on what Prince Andrew knows. He may know just enough to land himself in some trouble.“I think the clear hunch of U.S. law enforcement, is that he knows more than he is letting on. Maybe he was involved. But I don’t expect to see a Rolls Royce turning up [at the prosecutor’s office] any time soon.”In the U.K., Berman’s shocking statement was initially greeted with a stony silence from official Palace channels. Even Andrea’s wife and stalwart defender, Sarah Ferguson, fell silent on Twitter,  and sources at the Palace would only tell The Daily Beast two things—that Prince Andrew’s legal team were looking at the claims and that they wouldn’t be saying anything more about the issue, ever.Mark Stephens, an international law expert at law firm Howard Kennedy, said that Andrew has little to fear other than public opprobrium if he keeps his mouth shut and chooses his vacation spots with care.  As a simple matter of legal fact, Andrew is not legally compelled to do anything, Stephens says. “If he is a suspect, then he is entitled to the right to silence. If they want to talk to him as a witness, that’s voluntary. If you witness a crime you don’t have to report it to the police and you don’t have to give evidence.”Stephens says that while the Americans could try, through a procedure called mutual legal assistance, to remotely subpoena him, he could simply ignore the request. “Layer on top of that, that he also has the benefit of immunity, which applies to all princes, potentates and prime ministers,” adds Stephens. “As a consequence of that, both the civil lawyers and the DA know they can’t get him other than voluntarily. So, what we saw yesterday, was a piece of high drama, one might even say high theatre.“If you were his lawyer, you would say ‘You have done one car crash interview with Emily Maitlis—it would be even more ill-advised to do another car crash interview with the Feds under oath.’”So is this a legal problem or a PR problem for the beleaguered prince?“Oh, it is clearly both,” says Stephens. “There are two swords of Damocles hanging above his head, but the question is which sword of Damocles is more dangerous, and I suspect it is the legal one.”Andrew’s fightback on Tuesday suggests that maybe he feels the opposite to be the case. 
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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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