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September 20, 2021

The World Photography Organisation announces the Judges and Exhibition Dates of the Sony World Photography Awards 2022


Sony World Photography Awards


Sony World Photography Awards


Photo: Open Entry, Lifestyle, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards. Photographer & Copyright © Arifayan Taiwo, Nigeria.


Sony World Photography Awards


Photo: Open Entry, Street Photography, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards. Photographer & Copyright © Marc Zetterblom, Sweden.


Sony World Photography Awards


Photo: Open Entry, Architecture, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards. Photographer & Copyright © Jim Kateluzos, United States of America.


London, September 20, 2021 — The World Photography Organisation has announced the judging panel for the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 and upcoming exhibition dates. The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition returns to Somerset House, London, in April 2022 and in November, for the first time, will be on show in Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

Now in its 15th year, the Sony World Photography Awards are one of the world’s leading photography competitions, celebrating the best contemporary photography from across the globe and providing photographers with significant exposure and career-building opportunities.

Sony supports the Awards to help develop photographic culture by giving a global platform to today’s talent. Entry to the Awards is entirely free, and photographers are judged anonymously by a panel of industry-leading judges.

2022 JUDGES

This year’s jury brings a range of knowledge and expertise from varied photographic backgrounds.

Professional Competition

Open and Youth Competition

Student Competition

2022 EXHIBITION DATES AND 2021 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES

In 2022 the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition returns to Somerset House, London, from April 15 - May 2, 2022, followed by its first-ever presentation at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, from November 10 - December 11, 2022.

Dates for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 exhibition in various European venues:

Scott Gray, Founder, and CEO of, World Photography Organisation, says: We are delighted to once again welcome visitors to exhibitions of the Sony World Photography Awards across Europe and look forward to collaborating with long-time and new partners Somerset House, London, and Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. Although challenging, the last two years have highlighted the importance of the Awards in providing a valuable platform for rewards and opportunities and bringing together a global community that elevates and champions the extraordinary and creative work of contemporary photographers.

2022 PRIZES AND DEADLINES

The Sony World Photography Awards opened on June 1, 2021.

Deadlines across the Awards’ four competitions are:

All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth, and Student competitions will receive digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, cash prizes of $25,000 (USD) will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 (USD) to the Open Photographer of the Year. Furthermore, all winning and shortlisted photographers’ works will be exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards exhibition in London and then internationally. In addition, the World Photography Organisation would publish the winning images in the yearly Awards book.

Source: The World Photography Organisation

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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





September 16, 2021

South Asian Fashion Label holiCHIC spiced up New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with Indian-Inspired Collection.


NYC-Based South Asian Fashion Brand makes its debut at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in partnership with Flying Solo NYC and Product of Culture.


New York Fashion Week


Photo: Creative Director, Pooja Desai Shah (left), Founder and Designer, Megha Rao (right). Image provided by holiCHIC.


New York Fashion Week


Photo: Three looks from the holiCHIC x Flying Solo NYFW Show. Image provided by holiCHIC.


NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2021 — Founder and Designer Megha Rao and Creative Director Pooja Desai Shah from Indo-Western fashion label holiCHIC made their mark at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in partnership with a local retailer, Flying Solo. The show opened with a look that represented the brand and everything it stands for: a traditional Indian sari paired with classic jeans and a t-shirt.

The visual and literal juxtaposition of East and West with a sari set against the skyline was a full-circle moment for the designer. holiCHIC developed well before the brand’s official launch in 2014; Growing up as an Indian-American in NYC, Megha Rao faced the task of learning to embrace both identities and molding them into one and found it best to express her individuality through fashion.

“Many Indian-Americans face the battle of which identity to embrace, but seeing it in fashion and on the runway gives them the courage to accept both whole-heartedly. We see our culture embraced on the runway - it’s not Indian or American, it’s both,” shares Founder and Designer Megha Rao when discussing how she views the impact of seeing holiCHIC at NYFW.

holiCHIC announced their retail partnership with Flying Solo in August, where the multi-designer retail store houses the brand’s top sellers and newest collections. In addition, each year, the retailer hosts a fashion show as an opportunity for many small brands they work with to showcase their upcoming collections to the public - holiCHIC was one of the brands selected to take part in the show. Alongside their retail partnership, holiCHIC teamed up with Product of Culture to develop their fashion show. Founded by Archana Misra Jain and Monika Sharma, Product of Culture is a WOC-founded and funded collective dedicated to amplifying South Asian brands and creators. Paired with music and visuals by DJ USA, art by @ManasiArya, Tesher, Jay Sean, Payal Kadakia, Richa Moorjani, and Deepica Mutyala were among the South Asian celebrities, entrepreneurs, and influencers to show their support. The fashion label concluded NYFW with an impactful weekend for both the brand and the South Asian community.

As a first-generation Indian American, designer Megha Rao got constantly inspired by her two contrasting worlds of East & West. This fuse was the driving force behind the creation of her brand, holiCHIC. Empowered by the vibrancy of South Asian culture, their designs are rich in detail, derived from century-old Indian craftsmanship techniques, flattering silhouettes, hand-dyed fabrics, and intricate artisanal embroideries.

The brand’s mission is to keep South Asian culture alive through the expression of fashion. The label represents a thoughtful movement of creating meaningful garments for versatility and longevity. Allowing you to shop more sustainably, building your wardrobe with timeless staples you can wear season after season.

Source: holiCHIC by Megha

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:37 PM | View the original post





Recipes from India: Cookpad aims to put Daily Recipe Inspiration into more people's hands across India.

Cookpad

Cookpad Community Event


Photo: Cookpad Author Community Event in Bangalore, India.



BENGALURU, India, Sept. 15, 2021 — Cookpad, the global recipe-sharing service and community of home cooks, endeavors to provide daily recipe inspiration to more smartphone users across the country.

Cookpad is already available in India on the mobile app and the web in six different languages (English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, and Bengali), reflecting the diversity of cooking in the land.

Cookpad is a recipe-sharing service and a lively community where people can browse and search over half a million community-generated recipes, create and share new ideas and connect with others through cooking.

“I’ve watched Cookpad’s community in India evolve and grow over the past four years,” said Shriniwas Mutnure, Business Head, Cookpad India. “It’s like one big family that comes together to share their love of cooking, find daily inspiration, and have fun together every day. So to have the opportunity to welcome millions of new cooks into our community potentially is something that the team here in India is extremely excited about.”

Founded on a mission to make everyday cooking fun, Cookpad believes that helping more people to enjoy home cooking will lead to happier and healthier lives for people, communities, and the planet.

“We exist to make everyday cooking fun for the global population,” said Tomoya Yasuda, Cookpad Global’s Managing Director. “To achieve that, we need to adapt Cookpad to make it accessible to even more people.”

Besides providing access to community recipes, Cookpad regularly hosts weekly recipe challenges, events, workshops and helps connect like-minded people across the cooking community.

Cookpad is the world’s largest recipe-sharing service and global community of home cooks. Around 100 million people around the globe use Cookpad every month, and people have created over 6 million recipes in more than 70 countries. Cookpad launched in India in 2017, intending to become a source of simple and delicious everyday cooking inspiration, supporting the country’s keen interest in home cooking. Over half a million recipes have been shared on Cookpad India to date.

Cookpad (https://cookpad.com/in) is available in six different languages in India on the mobile app and the web.

Source: Cookpad

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 6:25 AM | View the original post





September 15, 2021

TIME announces its Annual List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World

TIME — Most Influential People 2021

Photos: 2021 TIME100 Covers.

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2021 — Today, TIME revealed the 2021 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The issue has seven worldwide covers, each highlighting a member of the TIME100: Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, gymnast Simone Biles, actor Kate Winslet, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, director-general of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang and writer Cathy Park Hong.

The TIME100 includes surprising pairings of the list members and the guest contributors TIME selects to write about them. The eighteenth annual list features:

Of the 2021 TIME100 list, TIME CEO and editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal writes, “I find the reason for optimism… in our 18th annual TIME100 list of the world’s most influential people. It features extraordinary leaders worldwide working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights. They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem solvers — people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray.”

For the second year in a row, TIME Studios and ABC will bring the annual TIME100 list of the world’s most influential people to life with a particular primetime television event, “TIME100,” airing Monday, Sept. 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. The special offers an inside look at the pioneers, artists, leaders, icons, titans, and innovators comprising the 2021 list, along with special performances and surprise appearances.

Source: TIME

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:48 PM | View the original post





Tanishq Launches 'Stunning Every Ear'

Tanishq

Tanishq

Photo: Left to Right- Ranjani Krishnaswamy, GM, Marketing, Tanishq, Titan Company Ltd., and Mira Kapoor.


MUMBAI, India, September 15, 2021 — India’s top jewelry retailer, Tanishq, from Tata Group, launched its latest and most comprehensive range of Earrings - ‘Stunning Every Ear’ on September 14, 2021. With this new launch, the brand has expanded the designs and variety of earrings, offering something for every woman’s style. Each pair of earrings has a story to tell and a personality of its own, making it a perfect match for all, the company said.

“This largest ever assortment, available across 360+ Tanishq stores in India, consists of more than 2000 pairs of earrings products in 16 forms and across 29 categories. Tanishq has crafted the range in gold, diamonds, and platinum, including daily wear, office wear, festive wear, and wedding wear. The collection ranges from classic gold and diamond studs to intricate designs in gold or Kundan traditional Jhumkas while embracing the boldness of modernity with a touch of tradition. There is truly something for every occasion,” Tanishq spokesperson stated.

Ranjani Krishnaswamy, GM, Marketing, Tanishq, Titan Company Ltd., said, “Earrings are women’s true companion, while each pair of earrings has a story to tell they also reflect a personality of its own. The new & exciting range of earrings is designed keeping in mind the quintessential women of today who believe jewelry is an extension of their personality. Through this new launch, we are offering the widest line-up ever of Earrings under one roof. With more than 2000 products and over 29 categories to choose from, we indeed intend to change the vocabulary around earrings and make our women look stunning every day!”

Speaking at the launch, Mira Kapoor said, “I have always loved the delicate and up-to-date designs Tanishq launches. The brand has played a vital role in some of the most important occasions of my life. I am delighted and excited to be a part of the launch of the ‘Stunning Every Ear’ collection at Tanishq. The collection is unique and diversified, much like every Indian woman.”

Tanishq offers Gold, Diamonds & Platinum jewelry in over 5000 traditional, western, and fusion looks. The Tanishq retail chain currently spreads across 360+ exclusive boutiques in more than 200 cities in India.

Source: Tanishq

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:24 AM | View the original post





September 12, 2021

Pecco Bagnaia secures Extraordinary Maiden Victory in Aragón MotoGP. Jack Miller gets the fifth place.


Ducati MotoGP


Ducati MotoGP


Ducati MotoGP


Ducati MotoGP


Ducati MotoGP


Photos: Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia at the MotoGP Grand Prix of Aragón. September 12, 2021. Images Credit: DUCATI.


Aragon, Spain, September 12, 2021 — The MotoGP Grand Prix of Aragón, held this afternoon at the MotorLand Aragón in Alcañiz, ended with an extraordinary victory for Pecco Bagnaia, who secured his first MotoGP success.

The Ducati Lenovo Team rider, who took pole position yesterday (the 50th premier class pole for Ducati) and first also this morning in the warm-up, produced a masterpiece today. As he took the lead after the start, Pecco held on to it from start to finish and held off Marc Márquez, who was always close to his Desmosedici GP 21. With three laps to go, the Spanish rider started to attack Bagnaia, who could respond to them, remaining firmly in the lead. After a fierce duel on the last lap, the rider of the Bologna-based squad was finally able to get the better of Márquez, crossing the finish line in the first place with a gap of 673 thousandths on his opponent.

In qualifying, Jack Miller closed the thirteenth round of the 2021 MotoGP season in fifth place. After the first lap, the Australian rider tried to follow his teammate and the Spaniard, but a problem towards the second part of the race led him to make a mistake. As a result, Miller went wide and was passed by Mir and Aleix Espargaro, finishing in fifth place, eventually crossing the line.

After today’s race, Bagnaia remains second in the overall standings, 53 points behind leader Quartararo, while Miller is fifth, 85 points off the top of the posts. Ducati returns to the top of the manufacturer’s standings, while the Ducati Lenovo Team is second in the teams’ standings.

• Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 1st

• Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 5th

• Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track in less than a week, from 17th-19th September. It would be the second home Grand Prix for the Bologna-based squad at the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP, scheduled at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Source: DUCATI

|GlobalGiants.Com|



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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 5:46 AM | View the original post





September 9, 2021

James Bond's DB5, from Hero Collector Books, is the First Official History of 007's iconic Aston Martin


James Bond Car


NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2021 — Hero Collector Books today announced the release of James Bond’s DB5, the first official in-depth history of 007’s famous Aston Martin. The book will be published on Sept. 28 to coincide with the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, which features the DB5 prominently.

It is the first time EON Productions, the makers of the James Bond films, have authorized an official history of this iconic car which made its debut in Goldfinger and appeared in eight 007 films. The book has been carefully researched in close collaboration with EON and Aston Martin and draws on both their archives. It includes storyboards, diagrams, design materials, and many rare and beautiful photographs covering every detail of the car, from over-riders to the exhaust.

James Bond’s DB5 has forewords by Daniel Craig, James Bond producer Michael G. Wilson, and Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.

As Reichman says, “There are no other cars that enjoy such an exciting connection to such a beloved character. I hope this book demonstrates that among all the technical and marketing data that underpins car production, the indelible truth remains: great cars are wonders to behold, blending creativity with one crucial factor: fun. Bond enjoys the DB5. I hope you enjoy it too.”

This beautiful coffee table book covers the entire story, starting with the Bond producers’ initial letters to Aston Martin before detailing the modifications made to the car for the filming of Goldfinger, including EON’s original drawings and rare pictures of the cast and crew on location in Switzerland. Next, it explores the fascinating history of the DB5 that went on tour. Next, it covers every subsequent appearance of the DB5 in the Bond movies and includes the inside story of how it got destroyed in Skyfall before returning in triumph in No Time To Die. Finally, its appearance in the latest Bond film is covered in-depth, with unique photography and insider reports from the shoot in Matera, Italy.

Hero Collector Books, a division of Eaglemoss, is focused on publishing entertaining, in-depth books based on the world’s leading film and television properties. The books shed new light on some of the world’s most beloved and iconic brands. They include lavishly illustrated encyclopedias, in-depth behind-the-scenes books, official histories, and new and light-hearted takes on classic characters.

James Bond’s DB5, written by Will Lawrence and Simon Hugo, runs 280 pages.

Source: Hero Collector Books

|GlobalGiants.Com|


SKYFALL (2012) | Train fight | James Bond 007

“Take the bloody shot!” For the SKYFALL (2012) train chase, Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Ola Rapace (Patrice) performed their own stunts attached to safety wires while the train was traveling at 40mph.


The World Is Not Enough (1999) | Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.



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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:23 AM | View the original post





September 8, 2021

'Sarva Mangal Mangalye' Track by Shivali Released on Eros Now; Music Produced by Arjun


Sarva Mangal Mangalyeby Shivali


Mumbai, India, Sep 08, 2021 — With everything circling up in the world, Singer Shivali Bhammer and the highly renowned Music Producer Arjun felt it was the right time to release an energetic mantra that praises the mother Goddess - Durga Ma.

According to Eros Now Music, “The mantras are potent. Even repeating the words in your head uplifts you, motivates you and pushes an individual towards positivity. The pandemic is a reminder of the existence of the greater power in this world. Durga is fierce, strong, and the force of all consciousness. Shivali aimed to capture that strength and resilience in an uplifting and upbeat version of the mantra.”

“Most of her songs have a more soulful, mid-tempo, pop, and ‘rhythm and blues’ vibe. But, the production of Sarva Mangal Mangalye is more focused on House/EDM (Electronic dance music) spectrum. That’s because she wanted her listeners to feel energized and revitalized by the track. It should rejuvenate and motivate people to feel that they can achieve anything they want and that the power of Durga is with them and inside them,” the music company ‘Eros Now’ explained.

Shivali stated that “You are not alone. I understand life has been extremely frustrating and tough for many, but we have a choice, either we can wallow, or we rise. The power of Durga Ma can help us and inspire us. We have to find that kind of strength and resilience in ourselves and fulfill our ambitions and dreams. If we keep going and keep trying, we don’t know which door might open, but one definitely will!”

“The aim is to get the listeners hooked. If they get hooked, it’ll mean they are repeating this powerful mantra. She believes millennials and the younger generation will appreciate the song,” the music company elaborated.

The Mantra: Sarva Mangala Mangalye, Shive Sarvartha Sadhika. Sharanye Trayambake Gauri, Narayani Namostute.

Meaning: The one who bestows auspiciousness on one and all, the one who accomplishes all objectives, to the mother of the three worlds, O Gauri, I bow again and again to you.

The music video will be on the Eros Now channel, Spotify, Apple Play, iTunes, and other streaming platforms.

Source: Eros Now Music

|GlobalGiants.Com|


Sarva Mangal Mangalye | Shivali Bhammer | Eros Now Music



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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 9:26 AM | View the original post





September 5, 2021

World's First: Aeroplane flies through a tunnel at 245 kph to set World Records.


Italian pilot Dario Costa clears Turkey’s dual Çatalca Tunnels in under 44 seconds.


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Red Bull, Dario Costa


Photos: Dario Costa. Aerobatic Airshows. Location: Turkey. Saturday, September 04, 2021. Images provided by & copyright © Red Bull.


Just after dawn on Saturday, September 4, 2021, professional race and stunt pilot Dario Costa of Italy wrote a new chapter in aviation history. He flew a race plane through the narrow confines of two enclosed auto tunnels just outside Istanbul. In near-darkness and closely surrounded by the concrete arc of the walls, Costa executed a tricky takeoff inside the first tunnel, flashed through an open-air gap, and then continued his 245kph flight through the second tunnel, flying less than 1m from the asphalt.

Costa, 41, won the top category of the Italian Aerobatic Championship and became the first Italian pilot to join, and earn a race win in, the Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class. He has over two decades of flying experience and numerous aviation feats to his credit. He has flown more than 60 airplane models and logged over 5,000 hours in the air - more than half in high-performance aerobatics.

Tunnel Pass was by far Costa’s most demanding and complex undertaking yet, requiring a team of 40 people, specially developed training techniques, and more than a year of preparation. Throughout, the project was shrouded in secrecy to limit variables and distractions, allowing complete focus for a successful flight that was no more than a simple idea on paper 12 months ago.

Located outside Istanbul on Northern Marmara Highway and initially put into service in March 2020, the dual Çatalca tunnels are state-of-the-art; but were designed for automobile traffic, not the flight of an aircraft.

From takeoff to exiting the second tunnel, the flight lasted 43.44 seconds, covering a distance of 2,260m / 2.26km and reaching a top speed of 245kph.

Changes to airflow, combined with the highly sensitive steering of the aircraft, required pilot reaction times of less than 250 milliseconds and delicate hand movements of mere millimeters throughout the flight. One of the most critical moments came at the 360m gap between tunnels, which exposed the race plane to crosswinds as Costa prepared to thread it into the low, narrow opening of the second tunnel.

Costa described: “Everything seemed to be happening so fast, but when I got out of the first tunnel, the plane started to move to the right because of the crosswinds, and in my head, everything slowed down at that moment. I reacted and focused on getting the plane back on the right path to enter the other tunnel. Then in my mind, everything sped up all over again.”

When the race plane shot out of the other side, Costa pulled it into a celebratory loop before landing. The ecstatic pilot said: “I’d never flown in a tunnel in my life - nobody had ever done it .”

The achievement set a new Guinness World Record: Longest Tunnel Flown through with an Aeroplane (1,610 m). Four other notable records were:

Péter Besenyei, 65, mentored Costa. Besenyei is a Hungarian aerobatic and racing pilot, an aviation legend renowned for his role in developing and competing in the Red Bull Air Race. Besenyei is also well known for feats such as flying upside down under the Chain Bridge in Budapest.

Besenyei said: “To fly in a tunnel is not a normal situation. The main point is the mindset. Because flying straight at one meter off the ground and following a centerline is technically not so difficult if you are over a runway. But in the tunnel, especially a dark tunnel, coming out of the tunnel into the light and then back into another dark tunnel is different. And also, some airwaves can affect the flight, and you should expect some bumps. So it’s difficult in your mind because you know that if you make a mistake, the wall is hard.”

Source: Red Bull

|GlobalGiants.Com|



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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:16 PM | View the original post





September 1, 2021

Leading Afghanistan war correspondents to discuss the fall and future of Afghanistan at National Press Club, Washington DC


National Press Club, Washington,


National Press Club, Washington,


Photos: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken addresses the press on the U.S. government’s efforts to bring Americans home and support the broader evacuation from Afghanistan, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on August 25, 2021. State Department photos by Ron Przysucha. [File Photos]



WASHINGTON, September 1, 2021 — In the lead up to the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a panel of leading Afghanistan war correspondents will discuss the collapse of Afghanistan and the impact of the U.S. military withdrawal during a virtual Headliners event at 11 a.m. on September 3, hosted by National Press Club President Lisa Matthews of the Associated Press (AP).

Panelists include Atia Abawi, formerly NBC/CNN, Tom Bowman of National Public Radio, Kathy Gannon of AP, and Saad Mohseni, CEO of MOBY Media Group.

The panel convenes three days after the Biden Administration’s August 31 withdrawal deadline and one week after the deadliest day for U.S. troops in a decade, the Kabul airport bombing that killed 13 American service members and more than 90 Afghans.

This one-hour Headliner event program will stream live on the Club’s website and YouTube Channel as part of the Club’s Virtual Headliner series and is accessible to both the press and the general public.

With years of combined experience covering what’s been called “the forever war,” the journalists will share insights on humanitarian, military, and political consequences of an Afghanistan now under Taliban control.

The panel will talk about the groups now targeting America’s Afghan allies, the plight of Afghan women, the future of the Afghan media and female journalists, and the fate of billions of dollars worth of U.S.-made weapons.

About the panelists:

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the “World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists.” The Club has about 3,000 reporters, editors, and professional communicators worldwide, representing nearly every major news organization. It hosts almost 2,000 events per year in its 54,000 square foot facility in downtown Washington, just three blocks from the White House.

Source: National Press Club, Washington, DC

|GlobalGiants.Com|

— The Editor is a Member of the National Press Club.


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:16 PM | View the original post





August 29, 2021

NASCAR: Blaney takes the victory, Reddick clinches the Playoff spot, and Larson wins Regular Season Championship at Daytona

Nascar Daytona

Nascar Daytona


Nascar Daytona


Photo: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, leads the field to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images). Image provided by & Copyright © NASCAR.


Nascar Daytona


Photo: Jason White, driver of the #66 A-Game/CMR Construction Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, Harrison Burton, driver of the #20 Offerpad Toyota, Justin Haley, driver of the #11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, and Jordan Anderson, driver of the #31 Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images). Image provided by & Copyright © NASCAR.


Nascar Daytona


Photo: A general view of cars racing past the grandstands during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images). Image provided by & Copyright © NASCAR.


Nascar Daytona


Photo: Jeb Burton, driver of the #10 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet, Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota, Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, and Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 BRANDT Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images). Image provided by & Copyright © NASCAR.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., August 29, 2021 — The Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway unfolded as billed with dramatic action all Saturday night. It included 45 lead changes, a 14-minute Red Flag period, and a wild final lap of overtime to decide the championship Playoff picture.

Ultimately, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney managed it all and took his second NASCAR Cup Series victory in as many weeks as a colossal multi-car accident happened behind him in the last corners of the track on the final lap.

Blaney’s No. 12 Team Penske Ford led only seven of the 165 laps, but the North Carolinian took the lead from fellow Ford driver Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher for the two laps of overtime to claim his third win of the season and seventh of his career.

In a close and suspenseful battle with Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick earned the 16th and final playoff position with a fifth-place finish.

“How about that,” Blaney said. “That was a lot of fun. But, gosh, we just barely missed that wreck. Got to line up on the front row and got a good push by the 7 (Corey LaJoie). You never know how the end of these things is going to play out. Down the back, you don’t know what lane is getting a bigger run. I guess someone got tangled up over there. Hopefully, everyone is okay.”

Kyle Larson, who has a series-best five wins on the season, clinched his first NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Championship with a 21st-place finish. Both he and Denny Hamlin were in the last lap wreck. Hamlin, who has led the points standings for all but three of the previous 25 race weekends, finished 14th.

“Got good momentum,” Blaney said, smiling, “Nice to make it three in a row. We’ll see.”

Bubba Wallace, who led eight laps late in the race, finished second - his best 2021 season. Ryan Newman, Ryan Preece, and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five, a season-best for Newman and Preece as well.

Haley was sixth, followed by Alex Bowman, who won the Xfinity Series race earlier in the afternoon. Chase Elliott, B.J. McLeod, and Josh Bilicki rounded out the top 10. It was McLeod’s first top-10 finish in 76 NASCAR Cup Series starts.


• NASCAR Cup Series Race - 63rd Annual Coke Zero Sugar 400

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Saturday, August 28, 2021.

RACE RESULTS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 142.201 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 54 Mins, 3 Secs. The margin of Victory: Under Caution Seconds.

Source: NASCAR

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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August 23, 2021

Pfizer-BioNTech becomes the First COVID-19 Vaccine to receive Full FDA Approval; It would now be called 'Comirnaty.'


Approval Signifies Key Achievement for Public Health.

FDA, Pfizer, Vaccine


SILVER SPRING, Md., Aug. 23, 2021 — Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine was earlier called Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. It will now be marketed as Comirnaty (Koe-mir’-na-tee) to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for administering a third dose in specific immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. This one and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization. The public can be very confident that, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

“Our scientific and medical experts conducted an in-depth and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine. We evaluated scientific data and information included in hundreds of thousands of pages. In addition, we conducted our analyses of Comirnaty’s safety and effectiveness and performed a detailed assessment of the manufacturing processes, including inspections of the manufacturing facilities,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “We have not lost sight that the COVID-19 public health crisis continues in the U.S. and that the public is counting on safe and effective vaccines. Therefore, the public and the medical community can be confident that although we approved this vaccine expeditiously, it was fully in keeping with our existing high standards for vaccines in the U.S.”

• Ongoing Safety Monitoring

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have monitoring systems to ensure that any safety concerns continue to be identified and evaluated on time. In addition, Pfizer has committed to additional post-marketing safety studies, including conducting a pregnancy registry study to assess pregnancy and infant outcomes after receipt of Comirnaty during pregnancy.

• Important Safety Information

What should you mention to your Vaccination Provider before you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:


Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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August 17, 2021

Pecco Bagnaia takes second place on the podium at the Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring in a race made difficult by the rain in the final laps.


Jorge Martín finishes third with the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team.


Ducati, MotoGP, Austria


Ducati, MotoGP, Austria


Ducati, MotoGP, Austria


Photos: Pecco Bagnaia at Austrian GP. Images provided by & copyright © DUCATI.


Spielberg, Austria, August 15, 2021 — Pecco Bagnaia took an excellent second place at the MotoGP Austrian GP held this afternoon at the Red Bull Ring. The Ducati Lenovo Team rider put in a masterful performance in a race made difficult by the rain that started to fall with four laps remaining.

Starting from the front row, from the third spot on the grid, Pecco moved into first place, leading for twenty-three laps while cleverly defending himself from the attacks made by Quartararo and then Márquez. Unfortunately, when the rain began to fall, the Italian rider dropped back into fourth place, but he quickly made the bike swap, returning to the pits along with the riders in the leading group. Pecco rejoined the race in the eleventh position with the Desmosedici GP in wet configuration and soon caught up with the remaining riders on slick tires, overtaking them and recovering up to second place in just one lap to take his fourth podium of the season. Thanks to today’s result, Pecco climbs into the second position in the overall standings, 47 points behind the leader — Fabio Quartararo.

It was an unfortunate race for his teammate Jack Miller. As he got off from sixth on the grid, the Australian rider made a good start, but after a few laps, the lack of grip did not allow him to push, and he eventually fell back into eighth place. When the rain started to fall, Miller was one of the first to enter the pit to change his bike, but the strategy adopted did not allow him to take advantage of it. The Australian rider crossed the line eleventh, and after today’s race, he is fifth in the championship, 76 points off the top of the standings.

Jorge Martín, who took pole position yesterday and won last Sunday’s Styrian GP, also held at the Red Bull Ring, completed the podium in the race won by Brad Binder. The Pramac Racing Team rider finished today’s race in third place, bringing the number of Ducatis on the stage to two. After the Austrian GP, the Bologna manufacturer is now first in the constructors’ championship, while the Ducati Lenovo Team occupies second place in the teams’ classification.


RACE RESULTS — Top Ten Riders

RIDER — COUNTRY — TEAM — TIME/DIFF

  1. Brad Binder — RSA — Red Bull KTM (RC16) — 40m 43.928s
  2. Francesco Bagnaia — ITA — Ducati Team (GP21) — +12.991s
  3. Jorge Martin — SPA — Pramac Ducati (GP21) — +14.570s
  4. Joan Mir — SPA — Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) — +15.623s
  5. Luca Marini — ITA — Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19) — +17.831s
  6. Iker Lecuona — SPA — KTM Tech3 (RC16) — +17.952s
  7. Fabio Quartararo — FRA — Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) — +19.650s
  8. Valentino Rossi — ITA — Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) — +20.150s
  9. Alex Marquez — SPA — LCR Honda (RC213V) — +20.692s
  10. Aleix Espargaro — SPA Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) — +21.270s


• Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 2nd

“Again, today we went close to winning, but I’m still happy! We did our best and worked well. Both when I was leading in the dry and the wet, we managed the situation well. I let Márquez through when I saw the first drops of rain, to see what he would do because I didn’t know if I should go back and change the bike. I saw that many riders didn’t stop, and I thought I had made a mistake by doing the flag-to-flag. After the first lap on the rain tires, I found my rhythm and was able to pass a lot of riders to take second place. We will try again! The next race is at Silverstone, and I’m sure we can fight for a good result there too!”


• Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 11th

“This morning in the warm-up, I had a good pace, but during the race, I wasn’t able to replicate it. After the start, I tried to stay close to the front group, but after a few laps, I started to have grip problems and lost a few positions. When I saw the first drops of rain, I thought to go back in for the bike change, but it started to rain seriously only a lap later. Nevertheless, we tried: these were not the results we expected from these two races in Austria, but now we have to move forward and come back stronger at Silverstone.”


The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track in approximately two weeks, from 27th-29th August, for the British GP at the Silverstone Circuit.

Source: DUCATI

|GlobalGiants.Com|



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August 15, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurls the Tricolour Flag at the Ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi on the 75th Independence Day of India.


India Independence Day


Photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurls the Tricolour flag at the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of 75th Independence Day of India in Delhi on August 15, 2021. Two Mi-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force showered flower petals at the venue.

Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India

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August 14, 2021

Badminton Anyone? U.S. Postal Service launches New Commemorative Forever Stamps Featuring Popular Backyard Games.


U.S. Postal Service


U.S. Postal Service

Photos: As temperatures continue rising across the USA, with these 16 Forever stamps, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the variety of games Americans play to relax and enjoy the sunshine for outdoor recreation.



ROSEMONT, Ill., Aug. 14, 2021 — The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the outdoor recreational games that Americans play with vibrant new stamps during a dedication ceremony at the opening of the Great American Stamp Show 2021 held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

The pane of 16 stamps features eight designs illustrating eight backyard games — badminton, bocce, cornhole, croquet, flying disc, horseshoes, tetherball, and pickup baseball.

“It’s an honor to represent the United States Postal Service as we dedicate the Backyard Games Forever stamps at the Great American Stamp Show,” said Judy de Torok, the Postal Service’s corporate affairs vice president. “Stamp collecting has become a great American tradition, just as the backyard games we’re celebrating today have become great American traditions.”

Joining de Torok at the dedication ceremony were Scott D. English, executive director, American Philatelic Society; William J. Gicker, director, Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service; Alex P. Gara, president, American Bocce Co. LLC; Thomas Chen, Midwest Badminton Club; and Greg Breeding, art director, U.S. Postal Service.

With this pane of 16 Forever stamps, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the variety of games Americans play for outdoor recreation.

As temperatures warm up, Americans head outside to relax and enjoy the sunshine. But, with a touch of strategy, a bit of luck, and a healthy dose of friendly competition, backyard games provide almost endless amusement. At the beach, in a public park, or your backyard, these games are an excellent way for children and adults to have fun while enjoying the company of friends and family.

• Badminton. A royal country estate in England gives the name to the sport of Badminton. Somebody first played it here. Badminton is a popular form of backyard recreation. Much like tennis, either two or four players can play it. Each player uses a lightweight racket to hit a shuttlecock (also known as a birdie or bird) over a 5-foot net to the opposing side. The game continues as players volley the shuttlecock back and forth, not letting it hit the ground.

• Bocce. Originating in Italy, bocce is now widely played across the United States. However, this sport takes a bit of finesse to perfect. Two players, or multiple players divided into two teams, begin a game by first throwing a small ball known as the jack from one end of the playing area to the other. Players then take turns throwing their large balls — typically made of clay, wood, or plastic — toward the jack, attempting to land their balls as close to the jack as possible. The rousing game of bocce can last just a few rounds or for hours, depending on the players’ skill and their variations on scoring.

• Cornhole. Cornhole (also known as sacks, beanbag toss, or sack toss) has become increasingly popular, likely because of its simple rules and ease of play. Players take turns tossing soft, square bags — filled with dried corn, plastic pellets, or beans — onto wooden boards that are raised slightly off the ground on one end. The goal is to get the bags through a small hole on one side of the board, scoring based on how closely the bags get to the spot. It is a fun, recreational game. Teams or singles can play it.

• Croquet. Croquet is a popular garden party game. Nine wickets, hoops, and two stakes pressed into the ground in a double diamond formation create the gameplay area. Many variations on the game exist, but standard play consists of two or four people, each with their wooden mallet and four balls. Players hit the balls with their mallets, advancing them through the course — created by the wickets and stakes — in the correct order.

• Tossing. Tossing a flying disc can be as simple as playing catch or as involved as a spirited team game called “ultimate.” With the flick of a wrist, a hard plastic, the aerodynamic disc can sail through the air, flying straight or veering at an angle, depending on the thrower’s aim and release. Disc golf is also a popular game using flying discs and has rules like golf — without the ball and clubs, adding a new dimension to the art of throwing a disc just right.

• Horseshoes. The game of horseshoes is traditionally played with heavy metal horseshoes; however, lighter plastic ones have also become common. Two stakes in the ground mark the game area. Players pitch horseshoes at one of the stakes to get the shoe to encircle the stake — what’s known as a ringer. Scoring is based on how closely the shoes of a particular player land to the stake. Much like cornhole, practice with the swing and release of the shoe, getting comfortable with the weight and the distance, makes landing the perfect shot much more effortless.

• Tetherball. Often played in public parks and on playgrounds, tetherball is a fun, fast-paced game children and adults enjoy. Tetherball consists of a semi-soft ball fastened to a rope attached to the top of a pole. Two players take turns hitting the ball, attempting to wrap the string entirely around the bar. The ball can move either clockwise or counterclockwise, keeping players on their toes as they try to win.

• Pickup Baseball. Many versions of pickup games of baseball are played in the United States. One common variation consists of using a lightweight plastic ball and bat, making throwing and hitting the ball easier. The rules are like those of baseball or softball, but an official diamond isn’t necessary. Instead, if players know where the bases are, all that’s needed is an open area and an excited team.

Source: U.S. Postal Service

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August 12, 2021

Learnings from Tokyo 2020 for Paris 2024


Paris 2024

Photo: Learnings from Tokyo 2020 for Paris 2024. Image provided by & Copyright © IOC 2021 / 2021 Getty Images.


Paris 2024

Photo: Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, receives the Olympic flag. Image provided by & Copyright © IOC 2021 / 2021 Getty Images.


Paris 2024

Photo: Learnings from Tokyo 2020 for Paris 2024. Image provided by & Copyright © IOC 2021 / 2021 Getty Images.


Tokyo, 12 August 2021 — Paris 2024 received the Olympic flag as part of the official handover segment at the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony. Stakeholders from the forthcoming Paris Games discussed what they have learned from Tokyo.

Etienne Thobois, Chief Executive Officer of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, participated in the Games Experience Programme.

What have you thought of your experiences in Tokyo?

For an Organising Committee, the experience you get from watching the Games before your edition is so important. It allows you to feel the energy and the size, and the complexity of the Games. It is an opportunity for us to check many things, especially now that we are only three years out, and see how this unfolds technically on the ground.

It’s a fantastic energy boost, and frankly, we can’t thank our Japanese friends enough for managing to deliver these Games in the current context. What they’ve done is commendable.

What have you learned?

I’ve seen many Games since 1992 but, knowing that we are next, you see it from another angle. You look ahead to try to see what we can do with Paris 2024 through these Games.

We can see how fantastic it would be to have games open to the public to ensure a connection between the athletes, the media, and the population. We can already feel that this exists here with the media and the athletes.

The environment is a big focus for us what the Japanese are doing regarding certain materials, wood, waste management, etc. It is another source of inspiration. We think we might even raise the standard with Paris 2024, along with the big trend in society.

Another focus is the use of technology. We see here, for example, the remote interpreting system and the TV production, how people are experiencing the Games through various apps - for a better stakeholder experience here and a better spectator experience tomorrow. The drones at the Opening Ceremony were fantastic and very beautiful.

We are trying to look at our strategy and get inspired here. It’s like a relay; we source ideas to see how we can apply them to our environment.

Is there anything that surprised you at Tokyo 2020?

When you look at the venues, they’re amazing. The conditions for the athletes are second to none, and that shows on the field. We’ve had exceptional performances. Whenever I go to the Games, the maxim is “athletes first,” and it’s there to see.

The volunteer program is always a key element; they are so vital to the delivery here.

The complexity of transport operations is always a good call to humility because this is a big operation.

Is there anything you have seen that you have time to add to your Games plan?

Yes. It includes very technical things like heat mitigation measures and also sports presentations. Even though there are no spectators here, you feel there are ways to present the sports. For example, the display around the 100 meters was quite inspiring.

In Paris, we want to innovate. We want to engage with the whole population again. We want to take the Games out of the stadium into the city in terms of space.

Of course, the organization must be second to none, and we need to serve our stakeholders and the athletes and the media in the way they deserve, but there’s more than this to the Games. So let’s always have in mind why we do this, bring more sport into people’s lives, and engage - to make sure people understand what the Games can get and what sport can bring to society.

Source: IOC

|GlobalGiants.Com|


The Best of Tokyo 2020 | Top Moments

Watch the top moments from the Olympic Games in Tokyo and relive the epic and emotional performances of Caeleb Dressel (USA), Ariarne Titmus (AUS), Rayssa Leal (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Elaine Thompson-Herah (JAM), Belinda Bencic (SUI,) Tom Daley (GBR), Simone Biles (USA), Armand Duplantis (SWE), Hurigome Yuto (JPN), PV Sindhu (IND), Yang Qian (CHN), Adam Ondra (CZE), Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), Abe Hifumi and Abe Uta (JPN), Logan Martin (AUS) and many, many more.



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August 11, 2021

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Life at the Olympic Village & Medal Table


• Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Life at the Olympic Village & Medal Table


Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Photos: Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Scenes of life at the Olympic Village. Images provided by & copyright © IOC/Matthew Jordan Smith.


Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Source: International Olympic Committee

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August 9, 2021

Tokyo 2020 set to match Japan’s first home games in driving sports participation


Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan


Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan


Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan


Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan

Photos: Tokyo 2020 set to match Japan’s first home games in driving sports participation. Images provided by & Copyright © IOC 2021.


Tokyo, August 08, 2021 — The Olympic Games Tokyo 1964 sparked a nationwide sporting boom, creating clubs for children and inspiring all generations to get active. Now hopes are high for Tokyo 2020 to leave a similar legacy.

In recent years, football has become a national obsession in Japan, but the country’s love affair with the sport started on October 14, 1964.

Japan had entered a team for the football competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. However, expectations were minimal, especially after being drawn in a group with footballing stars Italy and Argentina.

To the delight of the local fans, however, the home team twice came from behind to defeat the Argentinians 3-2. And it qualified for the quarter-finals.

The South Americans were stunned - “No one can explain it,” wrote Argentinian newspaper Clarín the following day - and Japanese football never looked back. The next year the Japanese Soccer League was formed.

Hopes are high that Tokyo 2020 can leave a similar legacy, helping kickstart a rise to global prominence in sports in which Japanese athletes have not always excelled.

In 2019, Japan’s run to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals thrilled the nation, and the captain is hoping the Olympic Games rugby sevens competition can continue to fuel the growth of the sport at home. “I think the Japanese public will get behind the sevens,” he said in a recent interview with World Rugby. “It is quite easy to follow, it is fast, there are big players, small players, a real mix. For Asia, it is a good starting place to get people into rugby.”

Since 2016, Japan has cultivated one of the world’s most exemplary organizational structures for talent development in elite sports, creating two world-class training and research environments: the Ajinomoto National Training Centre and the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences.

Leading coaches worldwide spend time with Japanese high-performance athletes at these facilities, while local universities provide them with nutritional guidance, training physiology, and sports psychology.

In addition, the Japanese Corporate Sports System, which encourages companies to employ high-performance athletes, has provided many competitors with the financial support and conditions to keep training. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has also played its role in discovering and nurturing junior athletes locally, providing 1,034 athletes across the 31 Olympic sports with financial support for training and competition to further their progress.

Not surprisingly, Japan has performed increasingly well in several new disciplines in recent years, particularly badminton and sailing. In addition, Japanese athletes performed exceptionally well in skateboarding and surfing, and they played strongly in karate and climbing.

The sporting legacy of Tokyo 2020 is unlikely to be confined to the elite arena, however. Tokyo 1964 provided a successful foundation to promote the recreational sport. Preparations for the Games led to the creation of the Japan Junior Sports Clubs Association (JJSA), which continues to provide opportunities for children all over the country. According to statistics in 2018, the JJSA comprised some 31,000 clubs, with 650,000 children participating.

Several initiatives are underway for sport to benefit from Tokyo 2020 similarly, injecting enthusiasm for recreational sport across all age groups to encourage healthy lifestyles. For example, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, opening hours had been expanded at various amenities and parks, while public schools opened public facilities to citizens outside class times. In addition, the government awards companies that promote sport and instigate best practices with official certification. At the same time, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has created a website enabling them to hire trained instructors for different sports.

The government hopes to involve 70 percent of the city’s adults (18 and above) to practice sport at least once a week. The latest figures show they are well on track to achieve this. In 2020, some 60.4 percent of adults in Tokyo were engaging in sporting activity, compared to 53.9 percent in 2012.

Sport has long been a focus for Japanese politicians due to its health and fitness benefits for the population. Ahead of Tokyo 1964, a national curriculum for physical education was implemented in schools, focusing on fitness-oriented activities and lifelong sporting participation in the ensuing decades.

More than half a century later, Japan still holds the many legacies of Tokyo 1964. Despite taking place in an unprecedented context of a pandemic, Tokyo 2020 aims to make a similar impact on the lives of the Japanese public.

Source: International Olympic Committee

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August 6, 2021

Sony Music Publishing Signs Olivia Rodrigo to Global Deal



Sony Music Publishing



Sony Music Publishing


Sony Music Publishing

Photos: Olivia Rodrigo. SOUR. Photo credit: Grant Spanier. Images provided by Sony Music.



NEW YORK, August 6, 2021 — Sony Music Publishing has announced the signing of multi-platinum singer-songwriter, actress, and 2021 breakout artist Olivia Rodrigo to a global agreement.

Rodrigo made history with her No. 1, critically-acclaimed debut album SOUR. Released on May 21, 2021, the LP scored the biggest debut of the year, earning the most U.S. audio streams from a female debut album ever and breaking the record for the most-streamed album in a week by a female artist in Spotify history with over 385M global streams. In addition to becoming RIAA Certified Gold in its first week, all 11 tracks from the album have landed in the top 30 of Billboard’s Hot 100, making Rodrigo the first female artist to chart 11 or more songs in the top 30 simultaneously. In addition, the 18-year-old musician earned her second No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her smash single, “good four u.”

Rodrigo instantly captured audiences worldwide on January 8 with her debut single from SOUR, “drivers license.” It became one of the biggest songs of 2021 and achieved record-breaking success. The cinematic, alt-pop anthem garnered over 76 million U.S. streams in its first week and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for eight weeks. The song also earned the largest global weekly streaming debut on Spotify and became the first track to surpass 1 billion global streams in 2021.

Olivia Rodrigo said, “There’s nothing I love more than songwriting; it’s my favorite thing in the world, and I’m excited to be working with the team at Sony Music Publishing.”

Sony Music Publishing Chairman & CEO Jon Platt responded, “Olivia is a once-in-a-generation talent with the heart of a true songwriter - there is no limit to what she can accomplish. Along with the entire Sony Music Publishing team, we look forward to supporting Olivia’s incredible artistry and creating the best opportunities for her songs as she begins this exciting new chapter.”

Sony Music Publishing Director, A&R Thomas Krottinger stated, “It has been a great privilege to work with Olivia over the last year. She constantly pushes her creative boundaries, allowing her to craft genuine, passionate songs that transcend genres and bring people together. We are honored to partner with Olivia and her incredible team, and we are beyond excited to champion her as she continues inspiring the world!”

Sony Music Publishing SVP, Creative Jennifer Knoepfle remarked, “What strikes me most about Olivia is her incredible storytelling ability. Every song on SOUR spins a narrative that is both unique to her and relatable to so many. She has a gift with words, and we are so lucky to support her from the beginning of what will surely be a long and fruitful career.”

According to SONY, Rodrigo has demonstrated her songwriting prowess and knack at creating immediately powerful pop music throughout her career, and it has cemented her status as the most promising young artist to emerge this year.

Source: Sony Music Publishing

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July 31, 2021

Enigmatic Optics: United States Postal Service Issues Mystery Message Forever Stamps


US Postal Service


US Postal Service


US Postal Service

Photo: New Mystery Message Stamp Helps Solve Postage Needs.



WASHINGTON, July 31, 2021 — The new Mystery Message, Forever stamp from the U.S. Postal Service, puts your sleuthing skills to the test! The new stamp was dedicated in a ceremony at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.

“As you add these stamps to your collection, or use them to send a message to your family and friends — we hope they will appeal to the puzzle-solver in all of us,” said Robert M. Duncan, a member of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. He served as dedicating official for the ceremony.

Joining Governor Duncan for the ceremony were Tamara Christian, the Spy Museum’s president and chief operating officer; Rebecca Roberts, curator of programming, Planet Word; and an “international spy” as a special guest.

The pane of 20 stamps is a visual riddle spelling out a difficult-to-discern message. Each colorful square contains a letter in an interesting pattern. Designed by art director Antonio Alcalá, the seemingly random patterns were carefully placed so that when put all together, the message reads —

“More Than Meets the Eye!”

The reverse side of the pane also provides the solution.

“Close one eye, turn your head to the right, or do whatever is needed to solve this perplexing puzzle for yourself. Fun and festive, this stamp is sure to add a dash of whimsy to your correspondence and confound those who receive it,” USPS said.

…………………….

Coffee Anyone?

Espresso Drinks Forever Stamps


US Postal Service

Photo: Espresso drinking in the United States is at an all-time high and is now on new Forever stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service.



The U.S. Postal Service celebrated America’s love of coffee with the issuance of four new stamps. Whether milky, dark as night, sweetened, flavored, or highly concentrated; many coffee drinks have one thing in common — they begin with espresso.

This booklet of 20 stamps features four unique designs illustrating popular espresso drinks — espresso, cappuccino, Caffe Latte, and Caffe Mocha.

Capturing the inviting atmosphere of an early 20th-century café, artist Terry Allen created each digital illustration with the style of 1920s and 1930s advertising posters in mind.

The names of the espresso drinks appear in art deco-inspired lettering above or below each enticing cup.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps with original artwork by Allen.

Espresso drinking in the United States is at an all-time high. With the growing popularity of artisanal coffee shops, extensive research on the roasting and brewing process, and continued innovation in machinery to make the perfect cup, specialty coffee is better than it has ever been.

Source: U.S. Postal Service

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