African filmmakers discuss the state of African cinema


first_imgFive of Africa’s top independent filmmakers participated in a discussion panel at the 2017 Rapid Lion South African International Film Festival, sharing their thoughts on the state of African cinema and its future.Film directors (from left) Vincent Moloi, Steve Gukas, Arthur Musah, Daryne Joshua and David Mboussou discuss the African film industry with mediator Eric Miyeni at a Brand South Africa discussion during the Rapid Lion South African International Film Festival on 6 March 2017. (Image: Brand South Africa)CD AndersonThe RapidLion South African International Film Festival is showcasing the best films and filmmakers of Africa and its diaspora, and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) members. The festival will run until 12 March 2017 at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg.The festival includes screenings of films and documentaries, as well as panel discussions and an awards ceremony. The workshops focus on deepening mutual understanding, strengthening collaborative relations and exploring opportunities for growth and investment in the film-making industry.Brand South Africa has partnered with RapidLion to celebrate African filmmaking, particularly South African cinema. Under the theme of Inspiring New Ways, the partnership aims at soliciting ideas and perspectives from filmmakers and industry players on how African – and the South African Nation Brand – stories can be communicated in visual form, through compelling storytelling.During a recent panel chaired by festival director Eric Miyeni, a diverse group of African directors spoke about their experiences working in the industry, promoting their films to a global audience and finding the spirit of true African storytelling.The discussion focussed specifically around the theme of “how should cinema reflect Africa today?”.The five filmmakers were:David Mboussou, Gabonese director of the documentary series I am Congo.Arthur Musah, US-based, Ghana-born documentary maker. His film Naija Beta follows Nigerian undergraduates returning home to host a robotics summer camp for high schools.South African documentarian Vincent Moloi. His documentary, Skulls of My People, is an in-depth look at the history of German colonialism in Namibia and its effect on the country’s indigenous people.Steve Gukas, Nigerian director of the highly praised Ebola drama 93 Days, which stars Danny Glover.South Africa’s Daryne Joshua, director of the critically acclaimed prison drama Noem My Skollie.Combating the legacy of Western voyeurism@Brand_SA @MarketTheatre @ArtsCultureSA @Abramjee @RapidLionFilm African stories in an eye of an African, not WEST! #BrandSAPanelDiscussion pic.twitter.com/g8ueCoYyGM— Nkululeko Ngubane (@Nkulie14) March 6, 2017Miyeni opened the discussion highlighting the challenges of being an African filmmaker attempting to take African stories to the rest of the world. With a legacy of these stories being told through a more Western/European lens, African filmmakers, he said, have a responsibility to represent the continent and its people more accurately. Filmmakers also needed to find the stories that have yet to be told, and take those stories to the world.Mboussou concurred, aptly using an African proverb – “until lions are able to tell the story, hunters will always be the winners” – to encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge between the continent’s filmmakers and finding common ground to get more African stories told globally.Musah, as American-Ghanaian, said it was important to get the stories he told right through diligent, honest research.Gukas reiterated that African stories need not fulfil conventional Western film narratives, but focus on the human experience. “Africans can find any story to tell, good or bad, as long as it was mindful of the right sensibilities and responsibilities of telling those stories.”Joshua, who with Skollie, attempted to tell a different kind of story about South Africa’s coloured community, said it was important to get the narratives right through cooperation and collaboration with the community whose stories filmmakers are attempting to tell.What challenges exist within African cinema?@Brand_SA @ArtsCultureSA @Abramjee @RapidLionFilm Arts&Culture treaties signed with the world, is it working for us?#BrandSAPanelDiscussion pic.twitter.com/nuslRBcE8x— Nkululeko Ngubane (@Nkulie14) March 6, 2017Miyeni asked panellists what they considered are the issues negatively impacting African storytelling in film.Across the board, the panel agreed that combating African stereotypes in film was imperative.Musah said as a filmmaker working in Africa and the US, it was a difficult to not be influenced by the usual Western film tropes that characterised Africa in film. His role as filmmaker, in general, was to fight clichés and champion realism in the stories he told.Moloi said that filmmakers, particularly documentarians, needed to treat their subjects with respect.Joshua added that even though it was sometimes challenging to find a positive angle in telling real stories, audiences responded well to uplifting, optimistic storytelling even when dealing with difficult themes.Gukas said the most prevalent challenge to making great African cinema was overcoming the “white saviour complex” in films. Not only did the notion of idealising western convention over realistic African stories impact the way the world sees the continent, more importantly, watching “Hollywood heroes” coming to Africa’s rescue impacted the way African audiences see themselves.From a marketing point of view, panellists agreed that filmmakers and audiences needed access to more platforms to see diverse products from small, independent African filmmakers that often get lost in the larger global cinema marketing machine.More specialised film festivals are also needed with better access to online video platforms to get the word out and create a buzz around films, no matter how small, and to boosts audiences.How to make African cinema world class@Brand_SA @MarketTheatre @ArtsCultureSA @Abramjee @RapidLionFilm Role of Cinema in positive portrayal of Africa? #BrandSAPanelDiscussion pic.twitter.com/HAPkQDHwCm— Nkululeko Ngubane (@Nkulie14) March 6, 2017Wrapping up the panel, Miyeni asked the filmmakers how the African film industry could compete with international film markets.Joshua said that even with the exceptional technical skills the continent has built up over the last few years, a focus must now be on writing and storytelling. While finding resources is easy – “all it takes is a pen and a page”- nurturing African writers with good, original and diverse stories is important.Moloi repeated a call for not only finding new markets for African film, but to create our own markets. “Embrace new media, like online video sharing,” and find ways to control the editorial direction of the art form. Also, as agreed by the entire panel, new funding models need to be found that emphasise content over commerce.Movie fans, journalists, bloggers and other influencers need to “be champions of African film and stories”, said Gukas. This kind of exposure will change the narrative of the African film industry and change global attitudes. The films are slowly being made, the world just needs to be told about them.From a technical standpoint, Musah thought specialisation is key. “Perfect the craft, find new ways of doing things using the tools available.”The Rapid Lion South African International Film Festival ends on 12 March 2017. For more information, check the festival website.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Amit Shah reviews preparations for cyclone Vayu


first_imgHome Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reviewed the preparations for cyclone Vayu which is expected to make a landfall in Gujarat and directed officials to ensure all possible steps for safety of people, officials said. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 26 teams, comprising about 45 personnel each, and the rescuers are equipped with boats, tree-cutters and telecom equipment. The NDRF is also moving another 10 teams as requested by the Gujarat government. After review, the Home minister directed the senior officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated. He also told them to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, drinking water and their immediate restoration in the event of damages caused to them, a Home Ministry official said. The Ministry is in continuous touch with the State governments and Union territories including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Daman and Diu, which may be affected due to the cyclone. The Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, Army and Air Force units have been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance, the official said.Mr. Shah also gave instruction for round-the-clock functioning of control rooms. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that cyclone ‘Vayu’ is expected to touch Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph during early morning of June 13, another official said. It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat with storm surge with a height of about 1.0-1.5m above the astronomical tides likely to inundate the low lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall. The IMD has been issuing regular bulletins since April 9 to all the States concerned. The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary, Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences and senior officers of the IMD and the MHA. Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha has also convened a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee later in the day to review the preparedness of States and Central agencies, the official said. Chief secretary of Gujarat and advisor to administrator of Diu are scheduled to attend the meeting.last_img read more

Hrithik Roshan gets a clean shaven look


first_imgHrithik RoshanHrithik Roshan has been seen experimenting with his looks quite often. Duggu was shooting for his upcoming film, which is a remake of Agneepath, where he had to sport the angry young man look.He took a break from the film shoot for his first ever reality show Just Dance where he’ll judge the contestants along with Farah Khan and Vaibahvi Merchant. He will appear clean shaven on the show.He was seen with a fully grown beard in Guzaarish and will sport a stubble in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Sources reveal that Roshan’s sons, Hridaan and Hrehaan are most enthralled by this shooting break of his as they get to spend a lot more quality time with their Dad.last_img read more

Step-back 3 NBA’s new weapon, though not a shot for everyone


first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants D’Antoni figures someone will come along and shoot it well, and that player may have already arrived. Doncic is far ahead of anyone but Harden in attempts and makes, and the Mavericks rookie’s goodbye highlight in Europe was a one-legged, step-back 3 that helped Real Madrid put away Game 4 of the ACB Championship series.Doncic smiled when asked about the step-back 3, saying: “A lot of guys have special moves. That’s my kind of move.”And even Popovich, no big fan of the 3-point happy game the NBA has become, gives credit to the step-back shooters.“They are great at it, that’s for sure,” he said. “Take nothing away from them. It’s been developed, it’s used and no one is better at it than they are. It’s virtually impossible to guard, but they perfected it.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “You mean when they jump backwards and travel and shoot a 3?” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich quipped. “I guess it has been made legal. I don’t know. It’s very difficult to guard.”That’s because the defender has to be prepared that the player with the ball is going to drive to the basket. But instead of continuing forward, the offensive player suddenly gathers his feet and steps backward to shoot, taking advantage of the extra space he has created.Curry is one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in history, but he’s also a wizard with his dribble. So whoever is defending him can never quite be sure which way he is going.“Obviously you respect the athletic guys that can drive and use their first step and explosiveness and all that type of stuff,” Curry said. “It’s a tough shot to make consistently, but the guys that do, it’s obviously a shot and a look that you can always kind of count on to create space and knock it down.”There will be more than a few hoisted up during the All-Star festivities.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town FILE – At left, in a Feb. 6, 2018, file photo, Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) defends as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) take a three-point shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in New York. At center, in an Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Golden State Warriors react as teammate Stephen Curry shoots a three-point basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, in New York. At right, in a Feb. 6, 2019, file photo, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (77) attempts a three-point basket during an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, in Dallas. The step-back 3-pointer is the perfect weapon for the modern NBA, practically a necessity in a game where the ability to find space to shoot from behind the arc is more valued than ever before. (AP Photo/File)James Harden turned to it to become the NBA’s most unstoppable scorer.Luka Doncic has ridden it to stardom on both sides of the Atlantic.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes The step-back 3-pointer is the perfect weapon for the modern NBA, practically a necessity in a game where the ability to find space to shoot from behind the arc is more valued than ever before.“Things have changed and the game is so spread out,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “All over the NBA and all over the world really, everybody’s stretching the range out a few feet more. The 3-point line is being covered much better than it has in the past so guys are moving back, and guys that can create space to shoot 3s unassisted have a special skill. It’s going to be a necessary skill more as the game continues to evolve.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesBut before guys who belong in the paint start hoisting them up from the perimeter, or taking balls off the rack and shooting step-backs during this weekend’s All-Star 3-point contest, there a few things to consider.Even Stephen Curry said it’s a tough shot to make. It’s fundamentally flawed and sometimes looks like a violation. But nobody shoots it more — or arguably better — than Harden, whose 151 step-back 3-pointers coming into this week represented 15 percent of the 1,006 makes thus far, according to the NBA’s statistics. He dribbles patiently until he sees an opening, then either drives for a layup or foul, or steps back for the 3, sometimes from a few steps beyond the arc.Harden, a seven-time All-Star, league MVP and scoring champion last season, has scored 30 or more points in 30 straight games, third-longest streak ever. Averaging 36.5 points, he is poised to win another scoring title in a runaway. He said he turned to the step-back 3 as a way to evolve with a game that has seen more than 2,500 step-back 3s taken already this season, after there were only 584 for all of 2014-15, according to NBAsavant.com.“I mean, every single year you have to come back better than you were the year before, and for me I had a pretty good year last year. But you’ve got to come back better and come up with a new move or a new package to keep defenders on their heels,” Harden said. “So whether it’s a step-back or a slide step, just to create separation to be able to get my shot off.”Harden has the green light in Houston, though that doesn’t make it a good shot — at least not for everyone else.There are times when Harden launches one where it looks like a horrible shot.He willingly takes longer attempts without fully squaring his shoulders up to the rim, which goes against just about everything coaches taught years ago, and critics watching him shuffle his feet have seen instances where he certainly appeared to get away with traveling .Because of the degree of difficulty, the step-back 3 may only be for a handful of players.Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni compares it to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s sky hook, a shot that everyone might try, but few could master.“Certain guys have certain talents but it’s a hard shot,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t know what the stats are, but it’s a low 20-percent kind of shot for most people and he’s at about 40.”Actually, Harden’s 41.5 percent on step-back 3s was only a little higher than the league average of 39.5 percent, though that could be misleading because so few players attempt them — and the ones who do are often already good shooters. Forbes: LeBron James tops NBA rich list again Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View commentslast_img read more

TFA European Development


first_imgIn line with Touch Football Australia’s direction to assist in the International Development of the Sport, National Coaching Director Dennis Coffey has returned from a development tour of Europe. Whilst in Europe, DC as he is commonly known, conducted a number of coaching courses in Germany, France, England and Scotland, with participants from these nations and also Belgium, Ireland, Wales, and Guernsey, training and accrediting over 100 new coaches. Participants included the likes of current Elite players and Presidents of the National Associtations. The courses will greatly assist in the development of coaches in these European Countries, which will further lead to the development of skills and the game overall.last_img read more

Idle No Mores thunder heard through walls of Prime Ministers Office


first_img(Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo and delegation of First Nations leaders. Photo/PMO handout)APTN National NewsWhile Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo sat in the meeting room of the high-security Langevin Block building flanked by Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan and Treasury Board President Tony Clement he could hear the sounds of the Idle No More protest that had shut down the streets outside.Atleo, who attended the meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper Friday despite heated pressure from Manitoba, Ontario and some Saskatchewan chiefs, said the sounds of the protests gave the meeting added weight.“Listening to the power voices of the Idle No More rally that was surrounding the Prime Minister’s Office, it added a sense of strength, that we are in a moment we can’t go back from,” said Atleo. “That our people will stand up for the land, the water, the air.”Atleo led a delegation of about 16 First Nations leaders to meet with the prime minister and several cabinet ministers.During the meeting, thousands of people marched down Ottawa’s Wellington Street which separates Parliament Hill from Langevin Block which houses the Prime Minister’s Office. Rallies also unfolded across the country, from Whitehorse to Halifax, Yellowknife to Winnipeg, from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal to Fredericton, thousands of people rallied under the banner of Idle No More. Nova Scotia also saw a rail blockade by members of Millbrook First Nation.There were over 200 Idle No More related events around the world, from London, England, to Texas, to New Zealand.A massive round dance also framed the lawn of Parliament Hill at one point and the drums shook the air.“I am blown away, I am filled with pride, I am just standing here trying to take this in,” said Molly Peters, a Mi’kmaq Idle No More organizer from Nova Scotia, who was standing on the steps of Parliament Hill watching the round dance slowly turn on the lawn below.“I came for unity,” said Stacie Landon, from Neyaahiinigmiing First Nation in Ontario. “I am here for my children’s future.”Janice Trudeau, from unceded Wikwemikong First Nation, said she took the streets in Ottawa in solidarity with other Indigenous people.“I came in solidarity with other Anishinabe people to form a united front against Harper,” she saidAnd while the grassroots flooded the streets of Canada with round dances, songs and drums, fissures developed between First Nations chiefs over the meeting with the prime minister.A few hours before the meeting began, chiefs from Ontario and Manitoba stated they would not be participating and warned that they would be initiating economic disruptions on Jan. 16.“We can’t live in poverty anymore while Canadians live this great life,” said Grand Chief Gordon Peters of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians. “We’ll stop it the only way we can stop it…Stop the roads, stop the rails, stop the transportation of goods.”Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, who marched Friday morning along with about 150 others, including Ontario and Saskatchewan chiefs to the door of the Langevin building, said Manitoba chiefs would be standing with the grassroots.“Across the tables in this room and across the street paper crosses hands and artificial laws are made to control us. We are saying no more,” said Nepinak as he stood at the gates to Parliament Hill and across the street from Langevin.Nepinak and Peters were among a number of chiefs who opposed the meeting. They wanted Governor Genernal David Johnston to appear along with the prime minister and the chiefs wanted it to be held in a larger venue. Many said they also supported Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence who has been on a liquids-only fast since Dec. 11. Spence had said she’d end her protest if the governor general and the prime minister met with First Nations leaders.“It’s important for both of them to be there at the same time with all leaders, not just some,” Spence told reporters early Friday outside her Victoria Island compound where she’s spent most of her days in a teepee.Spence has said she’ll continue to abstain from solid foods.Yet, despite this opposition, Atleo led chiefs from the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan into the meeting with Harper.The AFN released a list of points they planned to discuss with the prime minister and Duncan, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Clement and senior bureaucrats.Atleo said the meeting lasted from about 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and it was done with a tone of “respectful dialogue.”Atleo said he felt the chiefs who attended the meeting managed to convince Harper that he needed to personally take charge of the issues between Canada and First Nations.“The ability now to have direct prime ministerial engagement on matters of great concern for our people…including unilateral legislative development…We now have a forum…that we did not have before,” said Atleo, in an interview with APTN National News. “It is incumbent and the responsibility of the prime minister and the Crown to honour and implement the treaty relationship with First Nations. It will require a lot of work.”Atleo acknowledged that many of the chiefs from Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were against the meeting because they wanted to stand behind Spence.Spence is expected to continue her fast because the prime minister and the governor general did not appear together at the meeting.Atleo said he understands the chiefs’ position, but he has been pushing to meet Spence’s demands which appeared to shift.“On Dec. 31, on New Year’s Eve, we had a national conference call with 50 or 60 chiefs on the line and that if we were to secure a meeting with the prime minister and governor general, that Chief Theresa Spence would end her hunger strike,” said Atleo. “It turns out we all either didn’t understand or there was miscommunication. Twenty-four hours later, I had had chiefs saying we need to go sit with Chief Spence and she said she would continue until there was a meeting with the prime minister and the government general.”On the Conservative government’s side, Duncan said he felt the meeting was “constructive,” but he wouldn’t go into specifics about some of the demands the chiefs had like resource revenue sharing.However, he did say that although it was discussed, Bill C-45 and Bill C-38 would not be repealed as requested by many First Nations across the country.“We’re quite comfortable that we have met our constitutional obligations with those bills and we believe there is every reason to proceed,” said Duncan.The Prime Minister’s Office issued a release saying that Harper had a “good, frank dialogue with First Nations.”The prime minister says both sides did not agree on all matters, but First Nations brought “serious and important proposals to the table.”Harper says he will debrief his cabinet onFriday’s meeting and committed to meeting with National Chief Shawn Atleo in the coming weeks to “review next steps.”The Prime Minister was initially going to attend only at the beginning and end but took part in the entire meeting, which went two hours longer than planned.Serpent River Chief Isadore Day, who opposed Atleo attending the meeting, said many chiefs were “shocked” the meeting occurred.Day said Atleo had no “business” talking about treaties at the meeting.“I’d like to denounce the national chief even discussing treaties when the majority of the treaty communities weren’t even at the table,” said Day.Day warned Atleo earlier in an email earlier in the day Friday that if he went to the meeting he could face a motion of non-confidence from chiefs.“The talk is that a lot of people aren’t happy, obviously, you know people are shocked, folks are saying that the best thing for people to do is take a bit of a step back and go home and do something thinking,” said Day. “How could in one day, the national chief say we are united and that we are all standing behind Chief Spence and in the next day, take this entourage to a meeting. That is not sitting well with the majority of the chiefs in assembly.”Former National Chief Matthew Coon Come who was one of the first to arrive to the Langevin offices told reporters earlier that it would be a lost opportunity if chief didn’t take advantage of the meeting.*Note APTN National News has changed the terminology of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s protest to a liquids-only fastlast_img read more

Signs of Movement on Marijuana Issue in Annapolis


first_imgMaryland could soon see a stronger marijuana decriminalization law. It seems well on the path to outright legalization (though perhaps not this session), if the tone of last week’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing on a slate of marijuana bills is any indication.Senate Bill 456 establishes medical necessity as an affirmative defense against a marijuana possession charge and requires the court to dismiss the charges under these circumstances. Senate Bill 517 extends decriminalization to all amounts of marijuana, and Senate Bill 531 creates a legal marketplace for marijuana in Maryland. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard all three bills simultaneously on March 4.Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), chair of Judicial Proceedings and sponsor of the two of the bills, scheduled these items ahead of the 14 others to be heard that day, providing ample time for those who came to testify in marked contrast to the scheduling of the criminal justice bills heard earlier this session.Sara Love, public policy director for the ACLU Maryland, was first to testify in support of the bills. She noted that in 70 percent of searches conducted by police with smelling marijuana as the probable cause, no drugs were found, suggesting that the claim is often a pretense for search and seizure. By extension, Love argued, laws criminalizing the use or possession of marijuana have become a pretext for otherwise unconstitutional searches that have racially disparate impacts, necessitating the reform of such laws.Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) pushed Love on her claim, and asked, if in 30 percent of searches police did find drugs or worse, was it not worth preserving their ability to search. “We have a system in our society where police aren’t just allowed to go in [and search],” said Love. “Is it worth it if [police] search everybody’s houses if they find extra guns and drugs? No, because we have a system of justice. They have to have probable cause to believe that that person is breaking the law.”When Brochin continued asking if the search results indicated marijuana was a gateway to further illegal activity, Zirkin interrupted stating that Brochin’s teenage daughter, seated behind her father, was shaking her head in disagreement.The hearing room broke out in laughter, and a lightness of mood underscored the movement that has occurred on the issue of marijuana in Maryland. Though some senators expressed lingering skepticism about the growing body of research showing fewer deleterious effects of marijuana as compared to alcohol, no one forced that particular point.At one point, Sen. Bob Cassilly (R-Harford County) seemed interested in finding a way to address some of the social consequences marijuana laws have wrought on the state (labor issues related to drug convictions ), even if he would prefer the laws otherwise remain on the books.If opposition among the committee’s senators seemed tepid, support for the various measures from members of Judicial Proceedings was much more aggressive, with opposition testimony facing some strong headwinds.When Joseph Cassilly of the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office testified in opposition to legalization, Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County), sponsor of the legalization bill, asked whether alcohol was more addictive than marijuana.“Look at the scientific studies,” said Cassilly. “I’m not going to give you my personal opinion.”“All the studies that have been forwarded to us have [found] that [alcohol] is far more addictive. It’s not even close,” Raskin replied.After Chief David Morris, as a representative of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, asserted that for every study supporters produced to bolster their claims, opponents could produce a study showing the opposite, Zirkin pounced.“Sen. [Christopher] Shank and I were looking last year high and low for any evidence that decriminalization – not legalization, but decriminalization – had any of the ill-effects that the chiefs stated at their press conference last year,” said Zirkin. “We found none. I mean literally zero, in any state that when they moved from a criminal sanction to a civil sanction, that there was any of the ill-effects that you’ve said. We asked for the evidence last year and we got nothing. Over the interim, we’ve gotten nothing. And at this point in time, I’ve still got nothing.”Zirkin then suggested Morris provide whatever data he had available, but the message seemed clear – this debate is guided by data, and the data strongly leans in the direction of passing, at the minimum, a stronger decriminalization bill.There was no real indication legalization will become a reality this session, but the legislative landscape seems to be tilting in that direction, with strong support, at least in Judicial Proceedings, for further movement away from the criminalization that has been the historic approach towards marijuana in Maryland. ralejandro@afro.comlast_img read more

What You Can Learn From This YouTube Stars Apology Debacle


first_img Nina Zipkin What You Can Learn From This YouTube Star’s Apology Debacle Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Apology –shares 4 min read Image credit: Jason LaVeris | Getty Images Logan Paul said he was sorry — twice — after he seemingly filmed and posted video of the body of a person who had committed suicide. Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.center_img Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand We may only be a couple of days into 2018, but we already have our first public apology on the books. That dishonor goes to Logan Paul, a 22-year-old YouTube star with more than 15 million subscribers.Paul filmed his visit to Aokigahara, a forest near Mt. Fuji in Japan, which has gained notoriety for being the site of hundreds of suicides. The video Paul posted on Dec. 31 on YouTube was titled, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…” and it was viewed 6.3 million times in the 24 hours after it went live. Paul has since removed the video from the site.According to New York Magazine, Paul, who included a link to the American Society for Suicide Prevention, introduced the video thusly: “This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel…I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever…Now with that said: Buckle the fuck up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again!”Related: 7 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Build Their Brands on YouTubePaul has a following made up of predominantly young kids and teens and is best known for comedy sketches, pranks and being the older brother of fellow social media star Jake Paul, who has been in the news recently for offenses ranging from racism, bullying and abuse and property damage, the last of which led to his firing from his Disney Channel series.Logan Paul’s most recent raft of tweets is akin to watching a dawning of realization and regret in real time. The first, posted at 7 p.m. on Jan. 1, is an announcement of his latest vlog.new vlogreal life Pokémon Go in JAPAN?? go ay ??— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018The second, posted three hours later, is a photo of an apology written in the iPhone notes app that starts with an “I’m sorry,” and an explanation of the intent behind the video, without ever specifically saying that what he did was wrong.The closest he comes to admitting wrongdoing is this: “I am often reminded of how big a reach I truly have & with great power comes great responsibility…for the first time in my life, I’m regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won’t happen again.” The apology includes a profanity, a peace sign emoji and the hashtag for what Paul calls his fanbase —  #Logang4Life.Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018And then there was the final tweet of the trilogy, posted at 11:45 a.m. on Jan. 2, a video message featuring a serious and chagrined Paul front and center.So sorry. pic.twitter.com/JkYXzYsrLX— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018“I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in judgement. And I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize,” he says in the video. “There are a lot of things that I should have done differently, and I didn’t. And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.”He continues, “For my fans who are defending my actions, please don’t. They do not deserve to be defended. … In the world I live in, I share almost everything I do. The intent is never to be heartless, cruel or malicious. Like I said, I made a huge mistake. I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m just here to apologize. I’m ashamed of myself. I’m disappointed in myself. And I promise to better. I will be better. Thank you.”So what can you take away from Paul’s experience? First off, it’s always a good practice to have a sounding board outside of your circle to review anything you post online. If do you make a mistake, admit it right away. Don’t hide behind your past successes or what you meant to happen when you took a particular action. Don’t make excuses for your behavior. Make amends until you get it right. And remember that there is a big difference between “I’m sorry you were offended,” and “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” January 2, 2018 Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff Next Article Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

As the SportsBetting Industry Transforms Entrepreneurs May Find It Hard to Get


first_imgSmall Business Heroes Kristi Dosh Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article 5 min read The legal sports-betting market in the U.S. was worth an estimated $270 million in 2017 — with another $2.5 billion to $3 billion in black market betting, according to research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC. Accordingly, the recent Supreme Court decision in Murray v. NCAA that effectively lifts the federal ban on sports betting, allowing states to make their own laws and regulations, has captured the attention of businesses and entrepreneurs across the nation.Current gambling operators are racing to take advantage of the potential windfall headed their way, but experts say it could be a long time before new ventures can benefit from this decision. That’s because most of the existing state bills already circulating specifically limit the number of companies that can work directly with casinos or race tracks.”This means companies with past experience in the gambling marketplace, ready-to-go infrastructure and strong brand reputations will almost certainly gain selection for these mega-contracts,” says Marc Edelman, a professor of law at Baruch College who consults extensively on sports and gaming law.Related: The History of Online Gambling (Infographic)Edelman notes that none of the state bills proposing to allow and regulate sports gambling propose a true free market solution. That means even startup entrepreneurs with creative business ideas won’t be able to simply enter the marketplace, he says.Until now, only Nevada has allowed betting on individual games, while Delaware, Oregon and Montana have allowed limited betting. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), enacted in 1992, exempted out those states. Now, however, all states will be allowed to pass their own laws related to sports betting, and there’s also the potential Congress will attempt to enact new legislation that would govern all states equally.As the court case has been working its way through the system the past few years, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have been preparing for the possibility of enacting new legislation post-PASPA. Sports Illustrated recently tracked the status of legislation in all 50 states, showing many are considering opening the door to sports betting.Eilers & Krejcik Gaming has estimated that as many as 32 states will enact new legislation allowing sports betting within the next five years. It estimates the resulting market would be worth $6.03 billion in annual revenue — $7.1 billion to $15.8 billion if all 50 states allowed regulated sports betting.Related: Entrepreneurs and Gamblers Have Much in CommonYou won’t have to be one of the big gambling operators to take advantage of the new market, however. There are numerous opportunities for data analytics, content creation and more.Tyler Wyatt, an independent handicapping expert who runs Three For The Money, is preparing for hundreds, if not thousands, of new companies to enter his space in the market.”Gambling data and gambling news will initially become a commodity. Companies that can track the movements of both betting lines and the amounts of money wagered will have a product they can offer at a premium.”Currently, Wyatt’s site offers bettors the ability to submit a request about a particular game and receive back a detailed analysis with over 1,500 data sets and a projected outcome of the game. He says it’s not something just anyone can jump into and make a name for themselves immediately.Related: 11 Sports Businesses Using Entrepreneurial Skills to Disrupt the Marketplace”I’ve purchased data that I didn’t have, scoured the internet to find data I was missing, and spent countless sleepless nights to compile the data sets and put together the program that we have at Three For The Money.”While those with deep pockets might be able to simply buy the data, Wyatt says the blue sky in the market is elsewhere.”There will be niche segments of the sports wagering market that can be capitalized. Apps that provide up-to-date player data, betting line movements, trends and more all in one place will be valuable.”If you’re one of those entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of the new opportunities, Edelman warns that you be careful to manage your risks.”There are no shortage of gaming lawyers who will tell you exactly what you want to hear,” he says.Related: Elite Sports Teams Are Much Better at Creating Powerful Cultures Than Startups — Here Are 5 Tips You Can Steal”The best lawyers will push back on ideas and encourage [you] to refine them in such a way that you are able to maintain the core elements of your business plan but at the same time encourage changes to make sure to keep your risk level manageable.”Edelman says you should choose counsel that is mindful of the developments in state law.”The future of your sports-gambling or interactive fantasy sports business will be driven very much by your ability to operate within the framework of state laws, and many of these laws do not yet even exist.”In other words, it’s not only entrepreneurs who will be trying to cash in on the new marketplace, but attorneys and other business advisors as well. As the Sports-Betting Industry Transforms, Entrepreneurs May Find It Hard to Get in on Gambling Profits — but Related Businesses Will Thrive Founder and Publicist, Guide My Brand –shares May 21, 2018 There are opportunities for entrepreneurs as states begin allowing regulated sports betting. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Add to Queue Image credit: Lars Baron | Getty Images Enroll Now for $5 Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Guest Writerlast_img read more

FTC Fines Two Health Apps That Lack Adequate Evidence to Support Their


first_img Add to Queue February 24, 2015 FTC Fines Two Health Apps That ‘Lack Adequate Evidence to Support Their Claims’ Register Now » You can do so much on your smartphone — text, call, Snapchat, Instagram, CandyCrush, Tinder, Seamless, Uber…the list goes on. Among this blur of activity, an entire fleet of health apps have sprung up that harness the smartphone as a diagnosis tool of sorts. But a smartphone interaction with a doctor isn’t a substitute for in-person professional medical diagnosis and the FTC wants everyone to know it.Yesterday, the FTC cracked down on two smartphone apps — both of which say they can detect early symptoms of melanoma — for failing to make this distinction explicit.The makers of MelApp and Mole Detective, two apps that analyze user photographs of moles, blemishes and worrisome skin areas in order to calculate the corresponding melanoma risk as low, medium or high, were fined by the FTC for deceptively claiming that their apps “accurately analyzed melanoma risk and could assess such risk in early stages,” the agency wrote in a press release. “The marketers lacked adequate evidence to support such claims.”Related: The World’s Newest Lie Detector Could Be a Sensor Implanted in Your MouthThe apps, which were on the market from 2011 to 2012, were downloaded by thousands of people. While health apps have the potential to improve our health, many are relatively untested. That’s worrisome, particularly for apps that claim to provide early diagnosis and medical advice.Consider, for example, the 2013 paper published in the Journal of the American Association, which zeroed in on four melanoma detection apps and found that three of them “incorrectly classified 30 percent or more of melanomas as unconcerning.”With the settlement, the makers of MelApp and Mole Detective will no longer be able to advertise the apps as accurate diagnostic tools until there is enough scientific evidence, “in the form of human clinical testing of the device,” to substantiate the claim. Related: FDA Grants 23andMe Approval to Sell Test for Rare Genetic Condition Health Guest Writer Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesscenter_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Laura Entis 2 min read –shares Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article last_img read more