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— July 2020 —

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July 9, 2020

American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa to Power Global Expansion of Simple, Consistent Digital Checkout Experience.

American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa

New York, NY; Riverwoods, ILL; Purchase, NY; San Francisco, CA | July 08, 2020 — E-commerce has reached new heights worldwide. As more consumers are going online to make secure, touch-free purchases across various merchants and platforms. Now, it’s more important than ever that the online checkout experience is seamless and consistent across all types of digital channels and cards.

Today, American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa announced they are beginning technical preparations for global expansion of the Click to Pay online checkout in additional geographies. That includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, with others to follow.

Click to Pay aims to make the online checkout secure and straightforward for consumers across the web and mobile sites, mobile apps, and connected devices by replacing time-consuming key entry of personal account numbers and information. The advanced digital checkout solution mirrors the consistent, interoperable checkout experience in physical stores - with one terminal to accept all card payments. Consistent with the goal of interoperability, the vision for the future is that Click to Pay will provide consumers a streamlined experience across any digital checkout environment or network.

American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa announced the universal digital checkout solution in the United States in October 2019. Since then, more than 10,000 merchants have been enabling their customers with the option to click to pay including Cinemark, Crate & Barrel, Expedia, Fresh Direct, Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts, Joseph A. Bank, the marketplace division of Rakuten U.S., Saks Fifth Avenue and, among others.

For merchants, this checkout solution can help reduce friction during the process of selling goods and services. Merchants can now access a single virtual terminal for multiple card brands, meaning a more straightforward and smoother overall digital checkout experience for consumers.

“Right now, more than ever, demand for fresh food and grocery delivery is at an all-time high, with many new customers trying FreshDirect for the first time,” said Tammy Berentson, chief marketing officer, FreshDirect. “For these new customers, as well as for our loyal following, Click to Pay offers confidence that their transactions will be simple, efficient, and secure.”

Source: Mastercard

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:14 AM | View the original post

July 8, 2020

Elsevier Announces Finalists of the 2020 Reaxys Ph.D. Prize.

Marking its 10th anniversary, Elsevier would recognize this year’s Reaxys Ph.D. Prize finalists for their innovative and original research in chemistry and associated sciences.

Elsevier, Finalists


Photo: This year’s Reaxys Ph.D. Prize Finalists represent 12 countries and 30 universities from around the world.

AMSTERDAM, July 8, 2020 — Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, has announced the 45 finalists for the 2020 Reaxys Ph.D. Prize.

Launched in 2010, the Reaxys Ph.D. Prize celebrates innovative and rigorous research by ambitious early-career chemical sciences researchers. This year’s competition maintained the high standards of previous years: over 400 entries from around the globe were rigorously examined by the Review Committee to arrive at the 45 finalists.

“This year continues the tradition of excellence of the Reaxys Prize in attracting hundreds of outstanding applications from all across the globe,” said Reaxys Advisory Board member Professor Donna Huryn, a Principal Investigator at the University of Pittsburgh Chemical Diversity Center. “Equally impressive are the 45 finalists, and they represent the breadth of our field in terms of geography and discipline. I am looking forward to what will be an exceptional symposium.”

The 45 finalists would attend the virtual Reaxys Ph.D. Prize Symposium from September 30 to October 2, 2020. While usually an in-person event, this year’s celebratory gathering will be online to ensure that all finalists can attend—regardless of any travel restrictions that may be in place in their home countries. A pre-registration link is available on the symposium page for anyone interested in joining the online event. The event will feature talks, including a keynote presentation from the renowned University of California chemist Professor Bruce Lipshutz and a virtual poster session. The organizers also have specific plans to support networking.

Fellow Advisory Board member Professor Zhaomin Hou, Chief Scientist and Director of the Organometallic Chemistry Laboratory at the RIKEN Research Institute in Japan, added that he was profoundly impressed by the number of high-quality submissions in 2020. “The Ph.D. prize brings together young and enthusiastic scientists to showcase their newest discoveries and test new scientific ideas in open discussions.”

During the virtual symposium, the ten shortlisted finalists will give oral presentations of their research, from which the Reaxys Advisory Board will select the three winners of the Reaxys Ph.D. Prize 2020.

“Innovative young researchers from all over the world entered, and we plan to celebrate their achievements as we do each year,” said Dr. Friedrich Kroll, Elsevier’s Senior Manager of Scientific Affairs and co-organizer of the competition. “We are delighted to see the contest continue to draw this number and quality of submissions.

“The opportunity to establish networks to address current scientific challenges, particularly ones requiring interdisciplinary solutions, is an important aspect of the event. We’re also inviting our largest ever audience, with attendees from all previous years,” Dr. Kroll added.

All finalists will receive lifelong membership in the Reaxys Prize Club, an exclusive international network of chemists from all research areas and career paths. Members also receive unlimited access to Elsevier’s research solutions Reaxys and Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry.

This year’s finalists and their Ph.D. institutions are:

Source: Elsevier

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:14 PM | View the original post

July 6, 2020

UGC (University Grants Commission), India, issues Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities; Ministry of Home Affairs permits Universities and Institutions to conduct Examinations.

India Secretariat, New Delhi

Photo: A Section of the North Block, Central Secretariat, New Delhi, India. The North Block houses the Ministry of Home Affairs.

New Delhi | 06 July 2020 — The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has, in a letter to the Union Higher Education Secretary, permitted the conduct of examinations by Universities and Institutions.

The final Term Examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC (University Grants Commission) Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities, and as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

• UGC (University Grants Commission) today issued the Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities.

In April 2020, the University Grants Commission constituted an Expert Committee to deliberate and make recommendations regarding the issues related to Examinations and Academic Calendar. Based on the Report of the Committee, the UGC issued Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar on 29 April 2020.

The Expert Committee was requested by the UGC to revisit the Guidelines and suggest options for examinations, admissions in the Universities/ Colleges, and also for the beginning of the new academic session as the number of COVID cases is still increasing.

The Commission in its emergent meeting held on 06 July 2020 accepted the Report of the Committee. It approved the ‘UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities because of COVID-19 Pandemic’.

The highlights of the Guidelines are as under:

• Click here to view the UGC Revised Guidelines Document.

Sources: University Grants Commission. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:02 PM | View the original post

July 5, 2020

Reebok: The new Vector Logo and Wordmark reflect the intersection of fitness and fashion.


Reebok recently announced that it is unifying its logo and wordmark under one brand, leveraging its most recognizable and distinguished assets - the Vector logo and “drop-R” wordmark.

Reebok said it is fully integrating the wordmark and logo across all Reebok sport and lifestyle products, including footwear and apparel. This evolution shines a spotlight on Reebok’s heritage and connects its rich legacy to its exciting future.

“At Reebok, our mission is to be the best fitness brand in the world. We live at the intersection of fitness and fashion, and our product is a reflection of that connection,” said Matt O’Toole, Reebok President. “As we continue to differentiate ourselves, we’re blurring the lines between our entire portfolio of performance and lifestyle products even more to give our brand one unified presence and voice.”

“Under a unified banner, all of our products and experiences will tell a single story that is clear and consistent,” said Karen Reuther, VP of Creative Direction. “The Vector was created as a logo version of the iconic Reebok side stripes and cross-check design that dates back over fifty years. It is compelling, dynamic, and powerfully linked to some of our most significant cultural moments.”

The Vector logo was first introduced in 1992 and has been used in various forms since, most recently on Reebok heritage and lifestyle products. The new Vector logo is an updated, subtle modern evolution of the original.

Source: Reebok

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 1:57 PM | View the original post

The 209th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board opens in Paris.


Photo: UNESCO Headquarters Paris. The 209th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.


Photo: UNESCO Headquarters Paris. The 209th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/C.Bailleul.

Paris, France | July 4, 2020 — “We must respond to the urgency of the pandemic and afterward. Firstly, by continuing our functional reorganization, not only to gain flexibility and reactivity, but also precision and specificity,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, at the opening of the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.

She spoke extensively about UNESCO’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in the Member States. The answer to the health crisis has prioritized mobilization of cooperation and resources, advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns, provision of policy and technical support, and the generation of data and analyses, she said.

UNESCO is supporting states in establishing fair, inclusive, and equitable education systems, preserving biodiversity, making science a powerful lever of international cooperation, helping culture in the service of innovation and social cohesion, and combating discrimination and exclusion.

“In general, the initiatives to increase transversality in the crisis have allowed for better coordination of resources and actions, from which we should draw lessons. I believe that we can also be pleased with our new administration and management sector, which has enabled us to manage this crisis coherently and flexibly,” said Audrey Azoulay. The Strategic Transformation, as initiated two years ago, established this new sector as a first step to boost the Organization’s efficiency.

Azoulay also highlighted that it is essential to have the experience gained from the crisis guide the Organization’s future actions. UNESCO is currently reflecting on its programs and developing a new strategy to take the Organization to the eve of 2030.

Source: UNESCO

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:57 AM | View the original post

July 3, 2020

Pepsi India joins hands with the National Restaurant Association of India and Swiggy to support the Restaurant Community.

Pepsi India

New Delhi, July 3, 2020 — Beverage brand Pepsi️ has announced #PepsiSaveOurRestaurants, a fund-raising initiative in association with the leading restaurant industry association, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and leading online food delivery aggregator Swiggy. The initiative aims to provide approximately 2.5 million meals to the restaurant community workers who are in distress.

As part of the initiative, whenever any consumer adds any soft drink to his/her meal order on Swiggy from June 25, 2020, to July 19, 2020, Pepsi will contribute part of the proceeds in respect of each soft drink ordered to the NRAI COVID-19 Relief Corpus. This fund would provide meals (dry ration) to restaurant workers who have served people and are suffering due to these challenging times.

According to Pepsi, the offer is valid on any packaged soft drinks ordered from restaurants listed on the Swiggy platform. It includes carbonated soft drinks, packaged iced tea, packaged juices & packaged juice-based drinks and not just the purchase of Pepsi️.

Speaking about the initiative, PepsiCo India spokesperson said, “The environment that we operate in, matters to us. The restaurant industry is an integral part of our ecosystem, and the ongoing health challenge has severely impacted it. Both restaurants and restaurant workers are struggling. Hence, in our endeavor to find various meaningful ways to provide support to the ecosystem, we found that mobilizing a movement with consumers & providing food security support to our restaurant workers & their families in distress is a timely intervention and need of the hour. Through #PepsiSaveOurRestaurants, we are committed to supporting the ones in need and are extremely thankful to SWIGGY and NRAI for their support and partnership for this initiative.”

Srivats TS, VP - Marketing, Swiggy, said, “During these times when the hospitality sector is facing major setbacks in adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and sustaining themselves, Swiggy focusing on supporting the restaurant community in every way possible. As several restaurants evaluate their next course of action to remobilize their operations, we are happy to assist #PepsiSaveOurRestaurants initiative along with NRAI towards striving to ensure that restaurant workers and their families don’t stay hungry. With this initiative, we hope to help the restaurant workers with an intent to stabilize their lives in these challenging times.”

Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI, added, “While the current pandemic has impacted every sector, it has perhaps manifested itself more sharply on the workforce in the restaurant sector because of the sheer volumes. After all, we are the second-largest employers of human capital in India after agriculture. In light of the magnitude of this problem, the initiative of Pepsi India to help the employees of the sector in distress is highly applaudable. On behalf of NRAI, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Pepsi India and thank them for their beautiful gesture and generous contribution. This contribution will help us provide food to families of thousands of marginalized workers in the industry and will further cement our relationship with Pepsi.”

PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and has grown to become one of the most abundant MNC food and beverage businesses in India. PepsiCo India has been consistently investing in the country and has built an expansive beverage and snack food business supported by 62 plants across foods and beverages. PepsiCo India’s diverse portfolio includes iconic brands like Pepsi, Lay’s, Kurkure, Tropicana 100%, Gatorade, and Quaker.

Source: PepsiCo India

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:22 AM | View the original post

Oxford University and Bvlgari announce collaboration to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics.


Oxford, July 3, 2020 — Bvlgari, the Italian luxury brand, has announced plans to support research into COVID-19 and vaccine development at Oxford University.

The new relationship comes as part of the brand’s commitment to preventing pandemics now and in the future, through philanthropic donations. This gift will support Oxford research in two key areas; purchasing boundary-pushing scientific equipment that will help to speed up vaccine development and financing the studies of some of the world’s most talented researchers engaged in the field.

Oxford and Bvlgary announced the collaboration during a live webinar hosted by Jean-Christophe Babin, President, and CEO of Bvlgari and Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “For us to continue to make world-leading advances against infectious diseases, we need more excellent young scientists to join us and access the most up to date equipment in our laboratories. This generous gift from Bvlgari addresses these needs, and will continue to have an impact for many years.”

The Bvlgari Scholarship will financially support two students at the postgraduate level within the vaccine development group, the Oxford Jenner Institute. It would enable the University to continue to attract the next generation of top talent to power Oxford’s world-leading position in vaccine research.

The Oxford Vaccine Group and Oxford Jenner Institute have been at the forefront of scientific endeavor to develop vaccines for diseases of primary global importance for more than 30 years. They are currently one of the leading research groups globally in the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

The Bvlgari Scholarship Beneficiaries will receive full financial support over the four-year duration of their DPhil (Ph.D.) studies in vaccine research. The scholarships will cover the students’ course fees, IT support laboratory consumables, and an internationally competitive maintenance grant. The scholarship awardees will be based at the Oxford Jenner Institute and selected from applicants and offer holders in the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford, across the relevant disciplines of Clinical, Medical and Biological Sciences.

The candidate selection process for the Bvlgari Scholarship would begin as early as autumn 2020.

In addition to the scholarship program, Bvlgari’s donation will also contribute to the purchase of a state-of-the-art flow cytometer by the Oxford Jenner Institute. Flow cytometry is a crucial tool in emergency vaccine development that can rapidly speed up the process, allowing a more detailed understanding of cell response post-vaccination.

Used to measure the number and type of immune cells made in the body after the administration of the vaccine, it helps identify which types of cells may lead to a vaccine being protective and, therefore, successful. Single-cell sorting is a critical component of many sophisticated analysis pathways for both pre-clinical and clinical studies. It allows scientists to separate particular groups of cells of specific interest.

Bvlgari’s generous donation to the University is the latest step in the brand’s philanthropic commitment to improving the world at large, following the devastating coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, which plunged the world into an international pandemic.

Jean-Christophe Babin, President, and CEO of Bvlgari, said: “Over the past few months, we have witnessed the shocking and detrimental effects of COVID-19 on every aspect of our society. We can never let this happen again. Bvlgari vows not only to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 but also to work with the global leaders in Medical Sciences at Oxford University, to nurture the most talented minds of tomorrow. I am honored and proud to have the opportunity to support Oxford in this common goal of eradicating viruses and stopping future pandemics in their tracks.”

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “We are deeply grateful to Bvlgari for their generous gift and look forward to working together over the coming years. Donations like this allow us to accelerate critical vaccine development research, which will aid Oxford’s response to this crisis and future pandemics.”

Source: University of Oxford


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:10 AM | View the original post

July 1, 2020



Oscars 2020

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Photo: America Ferrera arrives on the red carpet of The 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on Sunday, February 9, 2020. Image provided by & Copyright © Nick Argo / A.M.P.A.S. [File Photo]

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Photo: Penélope Cruz arrives on the red carpet of The 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on Sunday, February 9, 2020. Image provided by & Copyright © Nick Argo / A.M.P.A.S. [File Photo]

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 819 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. The 2020 class is 45% women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% international from 68 countries. There are 75 Oscar nominees, including 15 winners, and five recipients of Scientific and Technical Awards.

• Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2020.

“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences. We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the wide variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” said Academy President David Rubin.

In 2016, the Academy set specific inclusion goals as part of its initiative to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities by 2020. Through dedicated and intentional work by the Board of Governors and members on the branch executive committees, the Academy has surpassed both these goals.

The Academy recently announced the next phase of its equity and inclusion initiative, Academy Aperture 2025, which will further the organization’s ongoing efforts to advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community. The initial phase of Academy Aperture 2025 outlined specific goals for the Oscars and Academy governance, association, and workplace culture.

“We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one. We are committed to staying the course. We look forward to fostering an Academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programs, our new Museum, and our awards,” said Academy C.E.O. Dawn Hudson.

The 2020 invitees include:

• Actors

• Directors

Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:03 PM | View the original post

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