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It is time to rethink democracy: Proposals for the protection and renewal of democracy ahead of US Summit for Democracy



Former US vice president, Joe Biden announces he is running for president in 2020.

Following the conclusion of its Annual Policy Dialogue 2021 ‘Rethinking Democracy’, Club de Madrid, the largest forum of democratic former Heads of State and Government working to strengthen inclusive democratic practice, calls citizens and leaders to protect, nurture and promote democracy. In the Dialogue’s Concluding Document ‘Club de Madrid’s Commitment to Democracy’, the organization offers actionable proposals to ‘rethink’ democratic systems.


Twenty years after its foundation, Club de Madrid is set on changing the notion that democratic systems cannot deliver anymore. Lack of trust in institutions, increasing inequality, persistent patterns of social exclusion, self-serving elites, lower social mobility, political polarisation and rising authoritarian tendencies, are only some examples of the challenges confronting democracy worldwide. While all of it precedes COVID-19, the pandemic has exacerbated these challenges.


By organising this Policy Dialogue in collaboration with the Bertelsmann Stiftung and a wide array of partners including the Alfred Landecker Foundation, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Boston Global Forum and Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and the EU, Club de Madrid presents a set of far-reaching proposals to adapt our leadership styles, information ecosystems and institutional settings to the realities of the 21st Century.


In the Dialogue’s Concluding Document, Club de Madrid reaffirms its conviction that liberal democracy is the best system of government. Club de Madrid welcomes the upcoming US-led Summit for Democracy and as a member of the Summit’s civil society working group on authoritarianism invites organisers to extend its objectives beyond the immediate geopolitical interests of any country.


The Concluding Document calls for the creation of an international peer-review mechanism on democratic practice and the appointment of a UN Special Rapporteur for Democracy. Democratic states and the international community must be more proactive in countering democratic backsliding and should act sooner at signs of concentration of power, erosion of the rule of law, attempts to undermine the judiciary, attacks on media and civil society organizations, among other authoritarian practices. Responding to democratic backsliding before it is too late requires early warning mechanisms followed by decisive action.


Contemporary authoritarianism is an existential test for democratic societies. To that end, Club de Madrid expresses concern over how illiberally inclined states increase their influence in regional and international organizations. Democracies should work together inopposing and countering interferences from authoritarian regimes – transnational repression, cyberattacks, disinformation, digital authoritarianism and economic coercion.


Democratic governments must work to make sure multilateral institutions reflect the values and principles of democracy, particularly fundamental human rights. Their promotion should be at the center of all domestic and foreign policy. Following this commitment, Club de Madrid asks democratic nations to tread carefully when engaging with authoritarian regimes, as the latter can often seek legitimacy and perpetuation by offering small concessions.


Corruption remains a dangerous threat. At a time of massive investment from COVID-19 recovery funds, governments must reaffirm their commitment to ending impunity for corruption offences. Club de Madrid’s Concluding Document calls for strengthening international cooperation in combating corruption and invites states to consider proposals for establishing an International Anti-Corruption Court.


Excessive polarisation and populist movements can cripple a democracy, endangering neutral political institutions and norms. Political nationalism and the increasing use of divisive rhetoric threaten democratic societies. It is important to prevent these from leading into any form of authoritarianism.


Club de Madrid encourages governments and international organisations to address unattended social problems fuelling polarisation. In line with UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’ demands for a renewed social contract, Club de Madrid advocates for a 2025 World Social Summit to better advance the international development agenda.


Online disinformation and hate speech also drive and feed political polarisation. Democracies must establish information ecosystems that support a safe, healthy, and fully functioning society. The Concluding Document calls for democratic nations to support high-quality journalism, public interest media and radical transparency in the access to information. States should also work together to guarantee users’ rights and adopt rules that limit monopolistic practices of social media companies.


Responsible political leadership is crucial to combating democratic backsliding, so is corporate and civil society leadership. Club de Madrid sees the need for far-reaching changes in the culture and practice of leadership recruitment. There should be more emphasis on ethical convictions, integrity, commitment to the common good and team building.


Democracy also requires a culture based on principles and values. Club de Madrid calls on the establishment of civic education in early childhood, primary and secondary education to achieve greater civic literacy. Democracies should put forward mechanisms to build citizens’ capacity to engage in policymaking, particularly youth´s engagement in politics, including young women and girls, and the promotion of intergenerational dialogue.


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Kanye West, 21 Savage, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, others honour Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton Show



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The Lost Daughter, Squid Game others win at 31st Annual Gotham Awards



The Gotham Film & Media Institute (The Gotham) has announced the winners of the 31st Annual Gotham Awards at a ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.


Winning Best Feature and three additional awards was The Lost Daughter, director and screenwriter Maggie Gyllenhaal’s assured screen adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel about a solitary vacationing professor and mother of two grown daughters whose encounters with a different young mother provoke haunting memories of her own past. Maggie Gyllenhaal also scored two additional individual awards for Best Screenplay and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award given to a director for their first fiction feature film. Gyllenhaal had previously won a Gotham Award nineteen years ago in 2002 as Breakthrough Actor for her performance in Secretary. And for her performance as Leda, the complex central character of The Lost Daughter, Olivia Colman received the Outstanding Lead Performance award, having previously received a special Ensemble Performance award in 2018 as part of the lead trio of The Favourite.


Also receiving an Outstanding Lead Performance award was Frankie Faison for his brilliantly varied and devastating performance in The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, based on the true story of the resulting tragedy when police were sent to check on an elderly veteran with physical and mental health issues after his medical alert link was accidentally triggered.


Receiving the Breakthrough Performer award was Emilia Jones for her sensitive–and musical –lead role as a child of Deaf parents torn between her responsibility to her family and the possibility of a future of her own in CODA, for which actor Troy Katsur won the Outstanding Supporting Performance award for playing her funny, opinionated dad who is fearful of losing her but yearning to connect and understand her.

The award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to Flee, the stirring, mostly animated documentary by Danish filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen which recounts the multi-year history from childhood until now of Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym), who with his mother and siblings became refugees fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan, through Russia, and eventually to Denmark where, despite trauma and a hidden past, there’s possibility for Nawabi of a new home and lasting love.

Winning the award for Best International Feature was Drive My Car, directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami into a gently emotional epic in which an actor/director harboring an unspoken grief and anger embarks on directing a multi-language production of Uncle Vanya in another city and gradually opens to his assigned driver, who has losses of her own.


With the awards for television the Gotham Awards for debut series are given annually to those that “enrich the landscape or push the boundaries of television.” Winning the award for Breakthrough Series (Over 40 minutes) was Squid Game, the late-breaking global sensation from Korean writer/director Hwang Dong-hyuk and Netflix that weaves themes of universal economic and social divide and aggressive capitalism with dazzling set pieces, ultra-violence, and even tender moments.


Breakthrough Series (Under 40 minutes) was awarded to Reservation Dogs, created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, which follows a group of teens living on a reservation in Oklahoma and whose petty crimes fuel dreams of escaping to a new life in California. The comedy series is a first to be majority written, directed, acted, and crewed by people of Indigenous descent.

Newly created this year was the first Gotham Award category for series acting – Outstanding Performance in a New Series. Following the Gotham Awards guidelines for gender neutral categorization, there were ten nominees. The jury chose to award two performances “equally undeniable in their craft and staying power” – to Thuso Mbedu, transcendent in the frequently silent central role of Cora in The Underground Railroad and Ethan Hawke in a possible career-best performance as abolitionist John Brown in The Good Lord Bird.

Also added as a new standalone category this year was Breakthrough Nonfiction Series. The winning series was Philly D.A., the propulsive, narratively driven, verité-shot series, created by filmmakers Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, and Nicole Salazar, that follows the first term of crusading Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, elected in 2017 determined to reform the system from within and with the goal of ending mass incarceration.

Career Tributes were also given during the ceremony to performers Kristen Stewart (presented by Julianne Moore and Pablo Larraín) and Peter Dinklage (presented by Ethan Hawke), director Jane Campion (presented by Mark Ruffalo), and the Industry Tribute to Eamonn Bowles (presented by Alex Gibney).


The inaugural Icon Tribute (presented by Kia Brooks, Deputy Director of The Gotham and Seret Scott) was awarded posthumously to poet, playwright, writer, filmmaker, director, civil rights activist, and educator Kathleen Collins and was accepted by her daughter, Nina Lorez Collins. Kathleen Collins’ most known film work is Losing Ground, one of the very first fictional features by an African-American woman filmmaker. The Icon Tribute has been created to call attention to the boldness, artistry, and impact of a filmmaker from a marginalized community whose work has not been previously recognized by the organization in its previous awards history.

An Ensemble Tribute (presented by Jeymes Samuel) was given to the cast of The Harder They Fall, including Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Damon Wayans Jr., Deon Cole with Regina King and Idris Elba.

An Impact Salute (presented by Michael Bloomberg) was given to The Actors Fund in recognition of their leadership role in providing resources, care and financial support to members of the entertainment community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded in 1882, the nonprofit serves all professionals—and not just actors—in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance through programs that address the community’s unique and essential needs. Brian Stokes Mitchell accepted on behalf of The Actors Fund.


Additionally announced during the ceremony:


The Questlove Gotham EDU Scholarship

Questlove announced the creation of a $150,000 scholarship fund earmarked for HBCU students’ tuition and to allow participation in the Gotham EDU suite of programs and mentor support. The award is supported by iHeartMedia.

Focus Features & JetBlue Student Short Film Showcase

Tessa Thompson announced the winners of the third annual showcase supported by sponsoring partners Focus Features and JetBlue. The program is designed to discover and empower a diverse group of emerging filmmakers and foster multi-platform distribution of their work. Each winner receives a $10,000 grant and have their films shown for twelve months on JetBlue’s seatback entertainment systems under the “Gotham Selects” movie category and on Focus Features digital streaming platforms. Throughout 2022, winning filmmakers will also receive ongoing mentorship and workshopping opportunities from The Gotham.


The winning filmmakers and shorts were:


·      Evan Bode, Thine Own Self, Syracuse University

·      Jorge G. Camarena, Spaceship, American Film Institute

·      Akanksha Chawla, Close Ties to Home Country, Columbia College

·      Jun Hee Han, Uncle, University of California, Los Angeles

·      J. Sean Smith, #Whitina, University of Southern California



The Gotham Awards ceremony was streamed on Facebook Live and on The Gotham’s YouTube channel.

For photo selects from the event, visit


The 31st Annual Gotham Award recipients are:

For Best Feature, presented by Dakota Johnson

The Lost Daughter

Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal

Produced by Osnat Handelsman Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Charles Dorfman

Released by Netflix

The Best Feature jury included Jason Mitchell, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Adele Romanski, Peter Saraf, and Cathy Yan.



For Best Documentary, presented by Devery Jacobs and Michael Greyeyes


Directed Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Produced Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen, and Charlotte De La Gournerie

Released by NEON

The Best Documentary jury included Bonni Cohen, Ramona Diaz, Kirsten Johnson, Roger Ross Williams, and Hao Wu.

For Best International Feature, presented Thandiwe Newton

Drive My Car

Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

Produced by Teruhisa Yamamoto

Released by Sideshow and Janus Films


The Best International Feature jury included Jimmie Fails, Eliza Hittman, Orion Lee, Jonathan Raymond, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

For Outstanding Lead Performance, presented by Dan Levy

To two performers:

Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter

Released by Netflix




Frankie Faison in The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain

Released by Gravitas Ventures

The Outstanding Lead Performance jury included Aldis Hodge, Tamara Jenkins, Avy Kaufman, Lisa Kjerulff, and KiKi Layne.

For Outstanding Supporting Performance, presented by Daveed Diggs

Troy Kotsur in CODA

Released by Apple TV+

The Outstanding Supporting Performance jury included Michael Beach, M. Blair Breard, Blythe Danner, Rob Morgan, and Crystal Moselle.



For Breakthrough Performer, presented by Moses Ingram

Emilia Jones in CODA

Released by Apple TV+

The Breakthrough Performer jury included Matt Bomer, Yolonda Ross, Isabel Sandoval, Shari Springer Berman, and Katherine Waterston.

For Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director, presented by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter

Released by Netflix

The Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director jury included Anne Carey, Helena Howard, Famke Janssen, John Turturro, and Phillip Youmans.

For Best Screenplay, presented by Joe Wright

Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter

Released by Netflix

For Breakthrough Series (Over 40 Minutes), presented by Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur

Squid Game

Executive Produced by Kim Ji-yeon and Hwang Dong-hyuk


The Breakthrough Series (Over 40 Minutes) jury included Jasmine Batchelor, Eli Goree, Mike Harrop, Amy Koppelman, and Paul Mezey.

For Breakthrough Series (Under 40 Minutes), presented by Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur

Reservation Dogs

Created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi

Executive Produced by Taika Waititi, Sterlin Harjo, and Garrett Basch


The Breakthrough Series (Under 40 Minutes) jury included Adam Goldman, Anna Konkle, Jenni Konner, Victoria Mahoney, and Jonathan Majors



For Breakthrough Nonfiction Series, presented by Jung Ho-yeun

Philly D.A.

Created by Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, and Nicole Salazar

Executive Produced by Dawn Porter, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen, Ryan Chanatry, Gena Konstantinakos, Jeff Seelbach, and Patty Quillin

Topic, Independent Lens, PBS

The Breakthrough Nonfiction Series jury included Andrew Jarecki, Laura Ricciardi, Bernardo Ruiz, Elyse Steinberg, and Tracy Heather Strain.


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Tiffany Haddish and Common break up after one year together



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Rihanna declared a ‘national hero’ as Barbados celebrates becoming a republic



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Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas Laureates Of The 65th Ballon D’or



This Monday, November 29th, the 65th Ballon d’Or® ceremony was held on the stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

The ceremony was hosted by Didier Drogba and Sandy Heribert and was brodcasted in 167 countries. All of four winners were unveiled in front of a
prestigious audience, including the best players on the planet such as Kylian Mbappe, Luis Suarez, actors Tom Holland and Zendaya, F1 racing drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

The laureates

The men’s Ballon d’Or®, elected by 170 international journalists,
is awarded to Lionel Messi (Paris-SG/Argentina).
This year he won the Copa America with Argentina and the Copa del Rey
with FC Barcelona.

The women’s Ballon d’Or®, elected by 40 journalists, experts in women’s football,
is awarded to Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona/Spain).
The FC Barcelona player won this year the Spanish championship, the Copa de la Reina and the Champions League.

The Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best young player,
is awarded to Pedri (FC Barcelona/Spain).
This year, he won the Copa del Rey with FC Barcelona
and reached the final of the Olympic Games with the Spanish national team.

The Yachine Trophy, which rewards the best goalkeeper,
is awarded to Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris-SG/Italy).
He won the Euro 2020 with Italy and was crowned best player of the competition.

France Football has revealed two new prizes

The Club of the Year Award, which recognizes the club with the most
nominations in all four categories, goes to Chelsea FC.
The Goal Scorer of the Year Award, which is given to the top scorer
for club and national team, provided that his club has played in the European
Cup, goes to Robert Lewandowski.

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Jack Dorsey is stepping down as CEO of Twitter



Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and public face of Twitter, will step down from his role as CEO, effective immediately, the company announced Monday. Dorsey will remain a member of Twitter’s board until at least next year.Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer, will take over as CEO.

“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement Monday. “My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.”

The departure comes six years after Dorsey returned to the chief executive role to help turn around the social network’s business. During Dorsey’s tenure, Twitter achieved profitability, posted its first billion-dollar quarter and began testing and releasing a wide range of features to draw in users. But Twitter, like its peers, has also had to confront the challenge of content moderation as well growing scrutiny from lawmakers and the public.

CNBC was first to report Dorsey’s expected departure Monday. Shares of Twitter jumped as much as 10% in pre-market trading Monday after the report, before giving up some of those gains.

More to come…


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