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— March 2021 —

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March 6, 2021

Miss Universe Competition to air live from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, Sunday, May 16, at 8.00 PM ET.

Miss Universe

Photo: Comedian/Writer Nick Teplitz introduces the 2015 Miss Universe contestants during the Welcome Event at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Monday, December 7, 2015. Photographer: Matt Petit. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York. [File Photo]

Miss Universe

Photo: Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Universe Philippines 2015, poses for a photo inside Planet Hollywood on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. Photographer: Matt Petit. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York. [File Photo]

Miss Universe

Photo: Catriona Gray, Miss Universe Philippines 2018, is congratulated by fellow contestants after being crowned Miss Universe after a three-hour special programming event on FOX on Sunday, December 16, 2018, Bangkok, Thailand. Photographer: Amorn Pitayanant. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York. [File Photo]

NEW YORK, NY, March 4, 2021 — The Miss Universe Organization today announced that the 69th MISS UNIVERSE Competition would air from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on Sunday, May 16, 2021. The competition will broadcast LIVE around the world from 8:00 to 11:00 PM ET.

“We have spent months planning and preparing safety precautions to develop this edition of MISS UNIVERSE—one that will be memorable, special, and innovative,” said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization. “I look forward to seeing this work come to fruition and crowning a new Miss Universe in May.”

The three-hour event will feature women representing dozens of countries competing in multiple categories, including the personal statement, swimsuit, evening gown, and interview. The event would end with Zozibini Tunzi crowning her successor.

“I always knew that my reign as Miss Universe would be unlike any other,” said Tunzi. “While it was nothing like what I had imagined my year to be, this year has opened doors for me I could never have imagined. I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect virtually with people worldwide and elevate the causes I care most about.”

Seminole Hard Rock’s Safe & Sound protocols follow similar guidelines as enacted successfully during the 2020 MISS USA Competition, produced in Memphis, Tennessee, in November. These policies include mask usage, social distancing, quarantining upon arrival, and rigorous testing in coordination with health officials.

The show will air in over 160 countries and territories across the globe.

Source: The Miss Universe Organization

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:28 AM | View the original post

March 5, 2021

Latest global university rankings: MIT & Harvard share the top spot, Russia and China record best-ever performances.

QS World University Rankings

QS World University Rankings, Toronto University

Photo: The University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Image Credit: Corey Seeman.

LONDON, March 4, 2021— QS Quacquarelli Symonds, an international higher education think-tank, today released the eleventh edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject. It is an extensive independent comparative analysis on the performance of 13,883 individual university programs taken by students at 1440 universities in 85 locations across the world, across 51 academic disciplines. They are part of the annual QS World University Rankings portfolio.

• Global Highlights

Jack Moran, the QS Spokesperson, said: “Observing performance trends across nearly 14,000 university departments enables us to draw some conclusions about the commonalities between nations that are improving and nations that are not. Three factors stand out. First, both in terms of faculty body and research relationships, an international outlook correlates strongly with improved performance. Second, rising universities have received strong targeted investment from governments over a decade or more - particularly in China, Russia, and Singapore. Third, improving relationships with industry is correlated with better employment, research, and innovation outcomes.”

Sources: QS Quacquarelli Symonds; Ministry of Education, India.

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March 4, 2021

India's Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs releases Ease of Living Index 2020 City Rankings — Bengaluru, Pune, and Ahmedabad are Best Cities.

Rankings for Ease of Living Index 2020 and Municipal Performance Index 2020 announced.

Ease of Living Index

Photo: Ahmedabad, India. President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks at the Namaste Trump Rally Monday, February 24, 2020, at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, India. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead). [File Photo]

Ease of Living Index

Photo: Ahmedabad, India. President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are cheered and welcomed by crowds Monday, February 24, 2020, along the motorcade route in Ahmedabad, India. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks). [File Photo]

New Delhi, March 04, 2021 — Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State Housing and Urban Affairs, announced the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020 here today.

The Government announced the rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 for cities with more than a million and towns with less than a million people. One hundred eleven municipalities participated in the assessment exercise.

Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.

In the Less than Million category, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

Like the EoLI index, the assessment framework under MPI 2020 has classified municipalities based on their population- Million+ (cities having over a million people) and Less than Million Population. In the Million+ category, Indore has emerged as the highest-ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal. In the Less than Million category, New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.

The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development. It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on the quality of life, the city’s economic-ability, and its sustainability and resilience. The assessment also incorporates the residents’ view on the services provided by city administration through a Citizen Perception Survey.

The Ease of Living Index strengthens its scope by consolidating the framework with a Citizen Perception Survey in the index, holding a weightage of 30%. It examines the outcomes that lead to existing living conditions through pillars of Quality of Life, Economic Ability, and Sustainability. That analysis spans 13 categories, including Education, Health, Housing and Shelter, Mobility, Safety and Security, Recreation, Level of Economic Development, Economic Opportunities, Environment, Green Spaces and Buildings, Energy Consumption, and City Resilience. These account for 70% of the overall outcome.

• Ease of Living Index

• Top 25 Cities (Million+ Category)

  1. Bengaluru
  2. Pune
  3. Ahmedabad
  4. Chennai
  5. Surat
  6. Navi Mumbai
  7. Coimbatore
  8. Vadodara
  9. Indore
  10. Greater Mumbai
  11. Thane
  12. Kalyan Dombivali
  13. Delhi
  14. Ludhiana
  15. Visakhapatnam
  16. Pimpri Chinchwad
  17. Solapur
  18. Raipur
  19. Bhopal
  20. Rajkot
  21. Jodhpur
  22. Madurai
  23. Jaipur
  24. Hyderabad
  25. Nagpur

Source: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, India

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 9:58 AM | View the original post

March 3, 2021

Bloomberg Philanthropies invites U.S. Cities to Apply for Grants and Guidance to Transform Streets and Public Spaces through the Asphalt Art Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies will award up to 20 U.S. cities Asphalt Art Initiative grants for arts-driven street redesigns that improve safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage local communities.

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Photos: Asphalt Art Initiative projects in Norfolk, Kansas, and Saginaw. Images provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

NEW YORK, March 3, 2021 — Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that cities can now apply for Asphalt Art Initiative grants. The grants will provide as many as 20 U.S. cities up to $25,000 each for projects that use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage residents of their communities. This program announced at the Bloomberg CityLab 2021 global cities summit got inspired by work done to improve pedestrian safety and revitalize New York City streets during Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure as Mayor from 2002-2013.

“Asphalt Art Projects can help cities rebuild from the pandemic by reinvigorating streets and making them safer, while also lifting spirits,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “As we’ve seen through our work in cities around the world, vibrant public artwork and smarter street design can inspire residents, build relationships between artists and the community, and help cities recover stronger than before.”

The grant program creates vibrant new public spaces and builds city capacity for working with artists and community groups on projects involving transportation infrastructure. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative responds to the growing number of cities worldwide embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to activate their streets, with interventions on plazas and sidewalks, crosswalks and intersections, and other transportation infrastructure.

In this second round, all United States cities are welcome to apply from March 2 to April 30, 2021. The program would announce the winning cities in fall 2021.

This next phase comes as the first round of 16 grantees, announced in June 2020, continue to roll out their projects. The cities of Kansas City, Missouri, Saginaw, Michigan, and Norfolk, Virginia, installed projects in the fall of 2020. They have transformed a combined 20,000 square feet of the streetscape with artwork and engaged nearly 1,000 residents and 37 artists in the design and installation process. Kansas City’s redesign of a problematic intersection also reduced overall vehicle speeds by 45 percent, shortened pedestrian crossing distances by 50 percent, and increased the number of pedestrians who feel safe crossing the meeting by 40 percent. The remaining cities, which will install their projects throughout 2021, include:

The first round of the Asphalt Art Initiative grant coincided with the Asphalt Art Guide’s publication. It presents case studies and best practices from cities around the world. The Guide has been accessed more than 4,500 times by governments and other practitioners in all 50 U.S. states and 83 countries.

“Adapting our cities post-pandemic isn’t just a question of engineering or epidemiology, but imagination. By bringing light, color, and creativity to blacktop, asphalt art projects can bring people together after so much time apart and breathe new life into our cities and our streets,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, Principal for Transportation at Bloomberg Associates. “From open streets to outdoor dining, this past year has made the importance of the public realm clearer than ever, and this program will help cities coast to coast make their streetscapes as vibrant as the communities that come together to create them.”

“At a time when the pandemic has limited so many kinds of interaction, asphalt art can provide a safe way to champion and enjoy a community’s creativity,” said Kate D. Levin, Principal for Cultural Assets Management at Bloomberg Associates. “Our inaugural projects have also catalyzed cross-sector collaborations among city agencies, neighborhood groups, and artists that can help support longer-term recovery. We are thrilled to extend this opportunity to more cities.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries worldwide to ensure better, longer lives for the most significant number of people. The organization focuses on five critical areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy, as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion.

Bloomberg Associates is the philanthropic consulting arm of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies. Founded in 2014, it works side-by-side with client cities to improve residents’ quality of life, taking a strategic, collaborative, and results-oriented approach to making cities healthier, safer, more equitable, and efficient.

Source: Bloomberg Philanthropies


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March 2, 2021

L'Oréal Paris Women Of Worth Launches Call For Everyday Heroes

The philanthropic program doubles its grants to $20,000. It would name one woman as this year’s National Honoree, receiving an additional $25,000 for her charitable endeavors.

L'Oréal Paris

NEW YORK, March 2, 2021 — Leading global beauty brand, L’Oréal Paris, seeks the Americans’ everyday heroes by announcing the call for its 2021 Women of Worth nominations. L’Oréal Paris has invited consumers to nominate a woman (at who is selflessly giving back to her community through non-profit leadership for a chance to be named one of ten Honorees, receiving up to $45,000 for her cause.

L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth premiered its new campaign this past Sunday, February 28, during the height of Awards Season, calling on Americans across the nation to place their nominations for this year’s Honorees. Featuring Viola Davis’s voice, as well as images of last year’s National Honoree, Noelle Lambert, and other alumnae, the new advertisement put the spotlight on incredible moments throughout the previous 16 years of Women of Worth.

“In 2021, the philanthropic program continues to bring to life the brand’s iconic tagline, “Because You’re Worth It,” championing women whose unwavering resilience, bravery, and courage show the power of owning one’s worth. This year’s Honorees will join the multifaceted program’s alumnae network of 150 individuals, who champion a diverse range of causes that exemplify embracing their worth and instilling worth within others,” L’Oreal said.

“We celebrate 50 years of our iconic ‘Because You’re Worth It’ tagline in 2021. We welcome stories that reflect not only the power of the Women of Worth who came before them but individuals who demonstrate the intrinsic value and worth of women everywhere,” said Ali Goldstein, L’Oréal Paris USA President. “In this landmark year, we are proud to elevate the next ten extraordinary women who find beauty in giving back, and we can’t wait to meet them.”

In addition to receiving financial support for their organization, Women of Worth provides the Honoree with a national platform to tell their stories and the opportunity to build a network that amplifies their cause.

Last year, Women of Worth launched its first-ever national television special, bringing together L’Oréal Paris’ notable roster of spokeswomen to highlight each Honoree’s unique mission.

In 2021, L’Oréal Paris will double its individual grants to $20,000 to create an even more significant impact. One National Honoree, chosen by popular vote, will receive an additional $25,000 for her charitable work. Each of the 2021 Women of Worth will get recognized as a shining example of how giving back can genuinely change the world.

The L’Oréal Paris division of L’Oréal USA, Inc. is a total beauty care brand offering luxurious and innovative products and services available in the mass market. For more than 100 years, L’Oréal Paris has been providing women worldwide with products in four major beauty categories: hair color, haircare, skincare, and cosmetics.

Source: L’Oréal Paris

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March 1, 2021

Toyota Yaris Takes Crown as Car of the Year 2021

Toyota Yaris

Photo: Toyota Yaris Takes Crown as Car of the Year 2021. Image provided by & copyright © Toyota.

Toyota Yaris has been crowned as Car of the Year 2021, beating Citroën C4, Cupra Formentor, Fiat 500, Land Rover Defender, Škoda Octavia, and Volkswagen ID.3.

This year’s Car of the Year award ceremony was broadcast live from Geneva on Monday, March 1, 2021. Despite Geneva Motor Show’s cancellation due to the global pandemic, the competition still took place at the Palexpo exhibition center.

The award, which has been around since 1964, is the most prestigious and coveted in the automotive world. A 59-member jury, made up of automotive journalists from 22 countries, selects the winner from seven models that have made it to the round of finalists in the first round of voting.

“This is a great honor for Toyota, and I’d like to thank the jury for their consideration and recognition. I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognize our development teams’ passion in Europe and Japan. This is the best Yaris, and just as Akio Toyoda intended, it is already putting a smile on the face of our customers,” said Matt Harrison, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Europe.

“A worthy winner of this year’s election, who deservedly prevailed against six top-class competitors,” said “The Car of the Year” President Frank Janssen after announcing the results.

The all-new Toyota Yaris has been designed to meet the increasing challenges of everyday urban life. To respond to new consumer demands, the new Yaris brings Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy to the compact car segment for the first time.

Toyota’s new, fourth-generation hybrid technology debuts the principal powertrain for the new Yaris.

The hybrid system features the new 1.5 Dynamic Force three-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with variable valve timing. The machine has the world’s fastest combustion speed, supporting high torque at low engine speeds and fuel efficiency.

As a result, it achieves a 40% thermal efficiency, higher than typical diesel engines, helping secure a more than 20% improvement in Yaris’ fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

The new Yaris is also available with 1.5 and 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engines in selected markets.

Source: Toyota

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