Global Goals

Press Freedom Day



August 13, 2020

Contemporary Ethnicwear Brand, Melange by Lifestyle, Announces Deepika Padukone as Brand Ambassador

The brand also launched its new collection that captures the season’s vibrancy with the latest trends, designs, and styles.

Deepika Lifestyle

Photo: Deepika Padukone for Melange by Lifestyle.

BANGALORE, India, Aug. 11, 2020 — In addition to launching its new collection, Melange by Lifestyle, India’s leading ethnic wear brand, announced actor and style icon - Deepika Padukone, its brand ambassador. This collaboration further strengthens the brand ethos of ‘Rethink Ethnic’ and epitomizes the versatile, eclectic style of modern Indian women.

Comprising key trends, quintessential season favorites, and contemporary styles & silhouettes, the curated collection is a delight. The ever-popular ‘florals’ has been re-imagined in new shapes and prints. The ‘Work from Home’ collection featuring the Linen range brings together fashion and utility. The group has recreated traditional paisley into a contemporary version with an exciting mix of styles. Accents of gold prints, embellishments, and jewel tones come together to make every special occasion more elegant. The collection showcases Lucknowi Chikankari in a modern style with chic minimal embroideries and contemporary silhouettes.

Speaking on the announcement and launch, Mr. Rishi Vasudev, Executive Director, Lifestyle International Pvt. Ltd., said, “Melange by Lifestyle has always celebrated the style sensibilities of modern Indian women who are strong and confident. Our brand ambassador Deepika Padukone captures this bold and individualistic style that Melange represents. Being one of India’s most recognized brands across marketplaces, Melange continues to push boundaries by ‘rethinking’ ethnic wear and all that it has to offer. I look forward to our customers being delighted by the new collection that brings forth some remarkable pieces, perfect for every occasion.”

Deepika Padukone, Brand Ambassador, Melange by Lifestyle, said, “Melange by Lifestyle has managed to capture the essence of the modern Indian woman beautifully. I am delighted to be announced as the brand ambassador for Melange by Lifestyle and look forward to the journey ahead!”

From the ‘Work from Home’ range to elegant occasionwear, customers can now step into the spotlight and give their wardrobe a stylish makeover with the new Melange by Lifestyle collection. The collection is available in over 400 stores and leading online portals & marketplaces in India, including exclusive Melange by Lifestyle stores and, where customers can shop from the convenience of their home.

Lifestyle is India’s leading fashion destination for the latest trends. Part of Dubai based retail and hospitality conglomerate - The Landmark Group, Lifestyle brings multiple categories including men, women, and kids’ apparel, footwear, handbags, fashion accessories and beauty under the convenience of a single roof. Lifestyle provides seamless and hassle-free shopping, offering leading national and international brands and the comfort of real omnichannel experience with its online store

Source: Lifestyle Stores

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August 12, 2020

OMEGA Goes Platinum-Gold For New James Bond Watch


Cutting-edge style and innovation have always been essential parts of the James Bond story. In keeping with that legacy, OMEGA has now delivered a brand new Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond Numbered Edition, offering plenty of high-tech details for 007 fans to enjoy.

OMEGA has been equipping James Bond with its Seamaster timepieces since GoldenEye in 1995. This exceptional new release is a celebration of that partnership and provides a new addition to the 007 collections.

For an extraordinary look, the 42 mm case is crafted in platinum-gold, with a platinum-gold plate on its side, engraved with each Numbered Edition number.

As part of the OMEGA James Bond collection launched last year, this watch also includes a hidden number 50 within the Super-LumiNova of the 10 o’clock index - a reference to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Elsewhere on the dial, you can find a 007 logo at 7 o’clock on the white enamel minute track. There are 18K white gold features on the hands and indexes, and there are Bond family coat-of-arms at the 12 o’clock mark.

Source: OMEGA

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August 11, 2020

Michelin Announces 2021 Road Atlas with Featured Driving Tours for Summer and Fall Getaways

Michelin Road Atlas

GREENVILLE, S.C., Aug. 10, 2020 — As a map publisher and leading mobility company, Michelin is debuting a new road atlas for travelers in North America. The 2021 Road Atlas: USA CANADA MEXICO features exclusive driving tours from the famous Green Guide collection.

According to the AAA 2020 Summer Travel Forecast, Americans will take over 700 million trips from July through September. Road trips will account for 97% of all summer travel, making it the most preferred form of transportation this summer.

Travelers will enjoy nearly 30 scenic drives across the U.S., from Alaska’s glaciers to Arizona’s deserts to Maine’s coast. Michelin’s driving tours guide travelers around North America with stops in national and state parks along the way. Six drives across Canada take travelers from the otherworldly Alberta Badlands to the Canadian Rockies, with a stop at stunning Banff National Park.

“Michelin has guided travelers to the best trails, hotels, and culinary destinations for more than 120 years. It is excited to offer a new version of its road atlas,” said Eileen Osteen, director of travel guides and map sales for Michelin North America. “As travelers pivot to road trips during the pandemic recovery, Michelin’s new 2021 Road Atlas is the ultimate companion for inspiring local and regional drives.”

The 2021 Road Atlas also includes 1,000 travel center locations for accessible pit stops. A unique format with flip-of-the-page navigation enables travelers to select a destination from the main map easily. Travelers will find 245 inset city maps and GPS coordinates to more than 2,500 parks in this new spiral-bound edition.

Michelin is a French multinational tire manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes région of France. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America operates 19 major manufacturing plants.

Source: Michelin North America

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August 9, 2020

HP Unveils its Best Family Printer — Smart, intuitive interface, designed for the home.

HP Printer

HP Printer

HP Printer

HP Printer

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 7, 2020 — HP Inc. has unveiled its new HP ENVY 6000 printer series, a naturally intuitive device designed for today’s families who lead vibrant, busy lives where work, school, and life intersect.

“Families continue to not only work from home but also look for fun ways to keep their kids learning at home over the summer. We wanted to make their printing experience effortless,” said Xavier Garcia, Global Head and General Manager, Print Hardware Solutions, HP Inc. “Our new printers introduced today were designed for those adapting to remote working and learning, offering easy setup solutions with a smart control panel that intuitively lights up when needed.”

Key features of the new ENVY printers include:

• Innovative design and smart device user experience

• Effortless to use with the HP Smart app

• Never run out of ink with Instant Ink delivery service.

“HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze,” the company stated.

Source: HP, Inc.

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August 8, 2020

Coca-Cola India unveils Two New Minute Maid Brands to mark its Entry into Immunity-boosting Beverages.

Coca-Cola India, Minute Maid

Coca-Cola India, Minute Maid

Photos: Coca-Cola India Brings Delightful Fruit Nutrition with two new products: Minute Maid Nutriforce and Minute Maid Vita Punch, made with Indian farmers’ fruits. Images provided by & copyright © Coca-Cola India.

New Delhi, August 7, 2020 — Coca-Cola India has reiterated its commitment as a ‘Total Beverage Company with strong local roots.’ It said it continues to invest in India’s essence by advancing beverage localization, celebrating farmers, and catering to the evolving needs of Indian consumers. Today, the company, under its master brand Minute Maid, introduced two new products delivering some of the daily essential nutrition requirements, made with fruits grown by Indian farmers. Minute Maid Nutriforce and Minute Maid Vita Punch offer much-needed benefits of mental agility and immunity, demonstrating a commitment to expand the company’s portfolio of delightful nutrition for everyday occasions.

Expansion of brand Minute Maid with the introduction of the new beverages also underlines Coca-Cola India’s focus on the ‘Fruit Circular Economy’ initiative, enabling farmers to increase their yield by sourcing fruits to launch fruit-based drinks.

T. Krishnakumar - President, Coca-Cola India, and Southwest Asia, said, “Coca-Cola remains grounded in its purpose to craft meaningful brands and offer its consumers a choice of drinks that refresh the body and spirit. Our long-term strategy entails offering more and more fruit-based beverages in line with consumer preferences. The expansion of our portfolio of nutritious juices under Minute Maid is in line with our aim to nourish every Indian and become India’s first choice in Fruit Nutrition. It also marks another step towards our commitment to the nation and its farmers.”

Minute Maid Vita Punch is a range of delicious fruit cocktails crafted from Indian fruit recipes that provide 100% of one’s daily requirement of Vitamin C to support immunity. It also marks Coca-Cola India’s entry into the nascent category of immunity-boosting beverages. Minute Maid Nutriforce is designed especially for Indian mothers who are seeking nutritious choices for their growing children. Minute Maid Nutriforce blends the great taste of Kashmiri apple juice with Iron, Zinc, and other essential vitamins that support cognition and mental sharpness.

Vijay Parasuraman - Vice President - Marketing, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, added, “With the changing times, consumers are now opting for beverage options with health benefits - as their approach towards health and wellness is also transforming drastically. We developed the new beverages keeping in mind consumers’ requirements as they adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Made with fruits grown on Indian soil by Indian farmers, the latest additions to our delightful nutrition portfolio under Minute Maid Masterbrand are focused on solving our consumers’ real problems these times.”

Coca-Cola in India is one of the country’s leading beverage companies, offering a range of healthy, safe, high quality, refreshing beverage options to consumers. Since its re-entry in 1993, the company has been refreshing consumers with its various beverage products.

Source: Coca-Cola India


Minute Maid Pulpy Orange - EAT IT, DRINK IT! StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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August 6, 2020

Nespresso Invests CHF 160 Million in the Expansion of its Romont Production Center in Switzerland to meet Growing Consumer Demand Worldwide.

300 new jobs created over the next ten years in a world-class ‘sustainable by design’ production center.



Photo: Nespresso farmer in Columbia. Image Credit: Nespresso.


Photo: Nespresso Vertuo coffee capsules. Image Credit: Nespresso.


Photo: Nespresso Romont production center in Switzerland. Image Credit: Nespresso.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, August 4, 2020 — Nespresso has announced a CHF 160 million investment to expand its Romont production center in Switzerland to meet increasing consumer demand for its high-quality premium coffees and support international development in the coming years.

“Despite the challenging times we have all been living in, this strategic long term investment reconfirms Nespresso’s continuous business success and leadership in the portioned coffee segment, which we pioneered back in 1986,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso. “It also demonstrates our continued commitment to our Swiss roots and the long-term economic development of the region and the country, with which we share values of quality, innovation, and expertise.”

“These are the kind of announcements that feel good in times of crisis. Nespresso confirms that large international groups can produce competitively in our region. It’s also an investment that strengthens our region in the bio-economy field with which I’m very pleased,” said Olivier Curty, State Councillor and Director of Economic Affairs and Employment at the Canton of Fribourg.

The Romont factory, inaugurated in 2015, is the center of excellence for the production of Nespresso’s Vertuo coffees now available in 21 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. Vertuo is a versatile system that makes freshly brewed coffee in 5 different cup sizes using the innovative Centrifusion technology that recognizes the bar code on the capsule and adjusts the amount of water, speed of extraction, and temperature to deliver a perfect cup of coffee.

Switzerland produces all Nespresso coffees distributed worldwide. Over the past ten years, in addition to ongoing investment in its business, Nespresso has invested CHF 700 million in its three Swiss-based production centers in the cantons of Vaud and Fribourg. The know-how and passion of more than 1,000 skilled factory employees transform sustainably grown coffee beans into the highest quality coffees.

“Thanks to Nespresso, Romont has become a reference for coffee. This new investment is a gift for an entire region and the pursuit of an extraordinary adventure. It is up to us, political leaders, to ensure that everyone finds their place in healthy and sustainable development. With our small and medium-sized businesses and companies like Nespresso, if the “Little Prince” were Glânois, he would undoubtedly say, “I have always loved this region. We sit on the hill, close our eyes, drink our coffee, guess the flavors, and something shines in silence,” said Willy Schorderet, Préfet de la Glâne.

Good news for our municipality as we see that the objectives Nespresso gave us at the beginning of the project have been achieved. Romont will be able to position itself as a city of international influence and excellence. Romont, the expert city for Glass and Coffee, here is a slogan we could use to promote our city,” said Jean-Denis Cornu, Vice-syndic for the town of Romont.

Over the past ten years, Nestlé has invested, on average, CHF 300 million every year in its infrastructures and operations in Switzerland. Firmly rooted in its home country, Nestlé has 11 production centers and 4 Research & Development sites located in Switzerland.

While investing in supporting its operations, Nespresso is also committed to its sustainability ambition, that every cup of Nespresso coffee has a positive impact on the world. All three Nespresso production centers are ‘zero waste to landfill.’ Production processes are optimized to ensure that heat and water are recovered and reused whenever possible. In the existing facility in Romont, the heat from the coffee roasters is recovered and used to pre-heat the green coffee and the factory itself.

Romont was the first production center in Switzerland, and thus the first factory for Nestlé in Switzerland as well, to achieve the LEED® Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 2015.

This certification covers the energy and water-efficiency of an industrial building. It also weighs aspects such as employees’ health and well-being at the workplace and infrastructure for environmentally-friendly mobility. Some examples of the various initiatives carried out by Nespresso to meet the LEED® requirements include the use of 20% recycled construction materials and an 18% decrease in the site’s energy consumption, thanks to heat recovery from the roasters, triple glazing, and the use of LED lighting. The LEED® certification extends Nespresso’s sustainability commitments and forms part of its global sustainability strategy, The Positive Cup.

Nestlé Nespresso SA is the pioneer and reference for the highest-quality portioned coffee. The company works with more than 110,000 farmers in 14 countries through its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program to embed sustainability practices on farms and the surrounding landscapes. Launched in 2003 in collaboration with the NGO The Rainforest Alliance, the program improves the yield and quality of harvests while protecting the environment and improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nespresso operates in 84 countries and has 14,250 employees. In 2019, it ran a global retail network of 810 boutiques. The brand currently has more than 100’000 points to globally collect its used capsules, enabling 91% of its consumers to recycle.

Source: Nespresso



Lattissima One | One Touch Cappuccino - how to

Simply fill the milk jug with the amount of milk you want for your drink. The Lattissima One will froth it directly into your cup and brew your coffee for a perfect coffee & milk drink. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 11:07 AM | View the original post

August 3, 2020

Drugs Controller General of India approves Phase II+III trials of Oxford University vaccine by Serum Institute, Pune.

Oxford University

Oxford Vaccine

New Delhi, August 03, 2020. — The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed the Serum Institute of India, Pune, to conduct Phase II+III clinical trials of the Oxford University-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (COVISHIELD). This approval will hasten the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in India, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced today.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.


— The editor is a holder of an Oxford Alumni Card and is a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 6:20 AM | View the original post

August 2, 2020

Devastating Cost of Failure to Coordinate Economic Re-openings; Immediate need for a Coordinated Policy across States, Regions, and Nations around the world — says MIT Study.

MIT Sloan

MIT Sloan, Crowd

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 30, 2020 — MIT Social Analytics Lab has published new, peer-reviewed research. The research shows the devastating cost of the chaotic and uncoordinated reopening of states and cities across the U.S. The study uses data from mobile phones and network connections through social media and census data. It estimates that total welfare gets dramatically reduced when reopening is not coordinated among states and regions.

For example, the study showed that the policies and behaviors of people in other, sometimes distant areas significantly influence the contact patterns of people in a given region. When states fail to coordinate significant spillovers, total welfare is reduced by almost 70 percent.

As federal, state, and local governments continue opening businesses and relaxing shelter-in-place orders nationwide, policymakers are doing so without quantitative evidence on how policies in one region affect mobility and social distancing in other areas. And while some states are coordinating on COVID policy at the level of “mega-regions,” most, unfortunately, are not. This lack of coordination will have devastating effects on efforts to control COVID-19, according to the study.

“There have been many calls for a coordinated national pandemic response in the U.S. and around the world, but little hard evidence has quantified this need,” said Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a corresponding author of the study. “When we analyzed the data, we were shocked by the degree to which state policies affected outcomes in other states, sometimes at great distances. Travel and social influence over digital media make this pandemic much more interdependent than we originally thought. Our results suggest an immediate need for a nationally coordinated policy across states, regions, and nations around the world,” he added.

Governors from all states and territories will convene virtually for the Summer meeting of The National Governor’s Association on August 5. The MIT study assesses the impact of an uncoordinated reopening and gives governors a map to coordinate in the absence of national guidance. The research done for all fifty states shows which regions affect each other the most and maps the areas that should be coordinating. These maps are sometimes surprising because, as a result of digital social media, each state’s success with social distancing gets impacted by the policy decisions of geographically proximate states and socially connected, but geographically distant lands. For instance, Florida’s social distancing was most affected by New York implementing a shelter-in-place policy due to social media influence and travel between the states, despite their physical distance. New Hampshire had a substantial impact on adjacent Massachusetts, despite being a small state.

As the Governor’s Association convenes, this research highlights the need for states across the country to coordinate, even if they are not near one another. The results suggest which regions should be coordinating with which other states based on the strength of the spillovers between them.

Source: MIT Sloan School of Management


— The editor holds a certificate from the MIT Teaching Systems Lab. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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July 18, 2020

National Geographic Society Announces Spring 2020 Young Explorers.

Twenty-two young leaders worldwide receive funding to address climate change, single-use plastic pollution, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other global challenges.

National Geographic

National Geographic


Photo: The National Geographic Society announces its spring 2020 Young Explorers. Twenty-two young leaders from around the world receive funding to address climate change, single-use plastic pollution, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other global challenges.

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2020 — The National Geographic Society has announced the spring 2020 cohort of Young Explorer grantees. These 22 young people, between the ages of 16 and 26, represent six countries and are engaged in impact-driven efforts ranging from scientific innovation and conservation to education, civic engagement, storytelling, and more— all developing solutions to pressing problems within their communities.

“At the National Geographic Society, we believe young leaders are in a category all their own. They are a global community of young people with empathy, tenacity, unbridled passion. They have an insatiable drive to seek solutions to build a sustainable future and thriving planet,” said Vicki Phillips, Executive Vice President and Chief Education Officer at the National Geographic Society. “They see profound possibilities to make a difference in the world, and they choose to do something about it with confidence, courage, and conviction.”

Seven of the Young Explorers are leveraging their efforts to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Katie Stagliano, who founded Katie’s Krops, provides meals to South Carolina families struggling economically during the epidemic. In contrast, Chris Suggs, who founded Kinston Teens, organized a drive-through crisis relief giveaway that served 4,000 North Carolina families the food, cleaning supplies, and other essential items.

Young Explorers are nominated and later selected by the National Geographic Society through a competitive, multi-tiered application process. In addition to funding, Young Explorers receive skill-building, leadership development training, and networking opportunities to collaborate with their peers.

The spring 2020 Young Explorers are:

  1. Aldrin Aujero, 19, of the Philippines, founded EarthSAVERs, which conducts service initiatives to underserved public schools in Metro Manila.
  2. Neil Deshmukh, 18, of the United States (Pennsylvania) founded PlantumAI, which uses artificial intelligence technology to promote crop health.
  3. Thanasi Dilos, 17, of the United States (New York), who co-founded Civics Unplugged, provides micro-grants and training for youth-led civic projects.
  4. Lauren Gibson, 25, of the United States (Indiana), who founded Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program to provide mentorship and funding for youth seeking to plan and carry out their environmental projects.
  5. Liza Goldberg, 18, of the United States (Maryland), who works with NASA and Google Earth on research to curb climate change.
  6. Zoë Jenkins, 16, of the United States (Kentucky), who launched the Get Schooled podcast focusing on problems and solutions in education.
  7. Merrit Jones, 22, of the United States (South Carolina), who is the president of Student Voice, a coalition of youth-led organizations.
  8. Peyton Klein, 18, of the United States (Pennsylvania) founded the Global Minds Initiative, which seeks to combat discrimination and promote inclusion in schools.
  9. Pothunuri Laya, 19, of India, who has developed several environment-preserving inventions, and is studying the viability of converting locusts, which threaten food security in vulnerable parts of the world, as a food source.
  10. Ashley Lin, 17, of the United States (Washington), founded Project Exchange to promote cross-cultural learning experiences for high school and college students.
  11. Tiassa Samayin Mutunkei, 19, of Kenya, founded Teens4Wildlife to help African youth discover the value of Africa’s wildlife and protect it.
  12. Joe Nail, 24, of the United States (North Carolina), who co-founded Lead For America, which provides recent college graduates with fellowships in local government.
  13. Shelby O’Neil, 19, of the United States (California), who created Jr. Ocean Guardians to host beach clean-ups and reduce plastics use.
  14. Kevin Patel, 19, of the United States (California), founded One Up Action, which empowers marginalized communities to fight climate change.
  15. Shriya Rai, 22, of India, who founded Sashakt Bharat to provide a platform for India’s youth to start their environmental initiatives and positively shape their communities.
  16. Baylee Ritter, 23, of the United States (Illinois), founded RISE UP, a youth-led webinar series that connects, inspires and empowers young people around the globe through peer-to-peer training, networking, and skill-building.
  17. Kartik Sawhney, 26, of India, co-founded I-Stem, an organization that gives blind math and science students technical training, mentorship, and hands-on opportunities.
  18. Katie Stagliano, 21, of the United States (South Carolina), who founded Katie’s Krops, which empowers youth to start and donate the harvest from community gardens to help feed people in need.
  19. Chris Suggs, 20, of the United States (North Carolina), founded Kinston Teens to focus on youth engagement and rural development.
  20. Richard Turere, 19, of Kenya, who invented Lion Lights to protect crops from local predators.
  21. Diana Griselle Zendejo Valle, 24, of Mexico, takes photographs of how humans establish a relationship with nature and how they use nature photography as an education tool.
  22. Celestine Wenardy, 17, of Indonesia, Editor-in-Chief of the Young Scientist Journal, has researched affordable methods for non-invasive blood glucose concentration monitoring for people with diabetes.

Over the past two years, the National Geographic Society has collectively awarded more than $280,000 in funding to Young Explorers. The Young Explorer grants build on the National Geographic Society’s 132-year history of investing in bold individuals with transformative ideas—innovative scientists, explorers, educators, and storytellers.

“We are immensely proud to support these young people on their journey, to help elevate their voices and accelerate and amplify their work,” said Phillips. “When our world is facing significant challenges, these Young Explorers show us that we have many reasons to be hopeful about the future.”

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the world’s wonder.

Source: National Geographic Society

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July 16, 2020

TISSOT Seastar 1000 Professional has in-depth Excellence





According to Tissot, Seastar 1000 Professional limited edition fully satisfies the criteria of the ISO 6425 standard governing professional diving watches. This all-steel automatic chronograph validates all the conditions specified by the standard.

The Tissot Seastar 1000 Professional has a self-winding chronograph movement. It has a small second hand at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph totalizers at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. It also indicates the day and date and has a comfortable 60-hour power reserve, rare for a diving watch.

The Tissot Seastar 1000 Professional comes with a steel bracelet with three links, burnished in the center, and buffed to a satin finish on the sides. It is closed by a folding clasp specially designed for diving purposes.

Source: TISSOT

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July 15, 2020

Four Hundred Million New Jobs by 2030 if Businesses Prioritize Nature, Says World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum,

Photo: Scene at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. 18 January 2020. Image provided by & Copyright © World Economic Forum/Mattias Nutt.

Geneva, Switzerland, 15 July 2020 - The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented job losses and economic uncertainty. As governments and businesses look to stimulate growth, a new study from the World Economic Forum found that ‘nature-positive’ solutions can create 395 million jobs by 2030.

The Future of Nature and Business Report provides blueprints for businesses to tap into a $10.1 trillion business opportunity, focusing on nature-positive industry actions, meaning that they add value to nature.

The report reflects real-world examples where nature-positive results have improved business outcomes:

“We can address the looming biodiversity crisis and reset the economy in a way that creates and protects millions of jobs,” said Akanksha Khatri, Head of the Nature Action Agenda, World Economic Forum. “Public calls are getting louder for businesses and government to do better. We can protect our food supplies, make better use of our infrastructure, and tap into new energy sources by transitioning to nature-positive solutions.”

• Food, land, and ocean use: What we eat and grow makes up around $10 trillion of global GDP and employs up to 40% of the worldwide workforce. Nature-positive solutions can create 191 million new jobs and $3.6 trillion of additional revenue or cost savings by 2030. Here are some examples:

• Infrastructure and the built-environment: About 40% of global GDP comes from the environment we build - office buildings, homes, and transport. Nature-positive solutions can create 117 million new jobs and $3 trillion in additional revenue or cost savings by 2030. Here are some examples:

• Energy and extractives: The energy we produce and what we extract accounts for almost a quarter of global GDP and 16% of global employment. With energy demand growing, there is an opportunity to create 87 million jobs and $3.5 trillion in business opportunities by 2030. Here are some examples:

• Guide for Finance Ministers

A policy companion outlines how governments can complement and enable businesses to act. Finance ministers can combine six cross-cutting policy measures to put the right incentives in place as part of stimulus packages and create jobs without destroying nature. They include better measurement of economic performance beyond GDP, incentives for innovation, improved spatial planning and management of marine and terrestrial assets, the removal of subsidies that endanger long-term job stability, investment in reskilling, and increased financial support for natural solutions.

• Quotes from World Economic Forum Partners

Source: World Economic Forum

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July 12, 2020

Indiaspora Business Leaders List recognizes Executives of Indian Heritage who lead Global Corporations.

- Indian diaspora leaders reach the pinnacle of corporate success in higher numbers than ever before, with many using their platforms to advocate for social change.

India, Corporations

San Francisco, CA | Washington, DC. July 11, 2020 — Indiaspora, a nonprofit organization of global Indian diaspora leaders from various backgrounds and professions, released today their inaugural list, honoring executives of the Indian diaspora leading the most significant global corporations in 2020.

Drawing from the latest editions of Fortune and Forbes U.S. and global lists, the Indiaspora Business Leaders List includes more than 50 executives who are serving at the helm of their respective company in the role of Chief Executive Officer, President, or Chairman of the Board.

The list includes immigrants from India as well as professionals born in countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, England, and the U.S. The companies that the executives lead have headquarters in ten different countries, including the U.S., Canada, England, and Singapore.

“This inaugural list shares so many shining examples of the quintessential immigrant story,” said Indiaspora Board member Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Jetline Group of Companies. “Hardworking, enterprising, and innovative, these executives have achieved the highest success in their fields, often drawing on their Indian heritage to help guide and ground them along the way. No doubt they will inspire generations to come.”

Companies on the Indiaspora Business Leaders List collectively employ more than 3.6 million worldwide and account for a combined USD 1 trillion in revenue and USD 4 trillion in market capitalization.

The companies’ collective shares also outperformed the stock market, averaging 21 percent returns during the leaders’ tenures on the list, compared to the S&P 500, which offered 9 percent returns during the same time frame.

“It is gratifying to see the growing impact of individuals from the Indian community on business on a global scale,” said Indiaspora Board Member Arun Kumar, Chairman, and CEO at KPMG India. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Obama administration. “I have had the opportunity to work with several of the individuals on our 2020 Business Leaders List in a professional and personal capacity and can attest to their dynamism as leaders not only of their companies but also for the larger diaspora community. Besides, many of them bring a remarkable sensitivity to issues relating to social change.”

The 2020 Indiaspora Business Leaders List represents 56 executives and 57 companies, as Raj Gupta, an Indiaspora member, serves as Chairman of two companies on the list, Aptiv, and Avantor.

“I’m amazed to see how far we’ve come in terms of representation in business. There used to be only a handful of us leading corporations,” said Raj Gupta, former CEO of Fortune 300 company Rohm and Haas. He is one of the first executives of the Indian diaspora to join the ranks of corporate leadership along with pioneers such as Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo and Dinesh Paliwal of Harman International. “Now that we are reaching prominence, I am eager to see how the next generation leaves its legacy.”

Several executives on the list have led their companies in advancing social change by addressing racial injustice, climate and sustainability justice, and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 through policy and financial commitments.

Tech industry leader Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet/Google, has announced new goals for racial equity, including improving leadership representation of underrepresented groups at Google, and an “economic opportunity package” for the Black community. Ivan Menezes, CEO of British multinational beverage alcohol company Diageo, also led his company in creating a $20 million social justice fund in America.

Several leaders’ companies have created or contributed to funds in response to COVID-19. Sunny Verghese’s Singapore-based agribusiness and supply chain company Olam International donated COVID-19 testing kits to Ghana’s government. Francis deSouza, head of gene analysis company Illumina, is developing a novel coronavirus test using sequencing technology.

“It’s inspiring to see so many leaders of Indian heritage playing a significant role in business and society,” said Ajay Banga, President and CEO of Mastercard. “Our culture and values are a common starting point (any chance we can get a bit more color here?). But it’s what we do with the opportunities presented to us that make a difference. When we lean into our diverse experiences to deal with challenges like the pandemic or racial injustice, we can have an even greater impact on the lives of those around us.”

The Indiaspora Business Leaders List also calls attention to the presence of a glass ceiling in which women, including Indian women, still face. Out of 1,000 companies represented on the Fortune 500 list, only 61 have women CEOs; the Indiaspora List has a marginally higher percentage of women, yet only accounts for five women out of more than 50 leaders.

Indiaspora has identified its honorees from these lists: Fortune 500 (which features 1,000 companies), Forbes Global 2000, Fortune Global 500, and the Forbes Largest Private U.S. Companies.

2020 Indiaspora Business Leaders List (Top 30)

Name — Company — Title

  1. Sundar Pichai — Alphabet/Google — Chief Executive Officer
  2. Satya Nadella —Microsoft — Chief Executive Officer
  3. Arvind Krishna — IBM — Chief Executive Officer
  4. Lakshmi Mittal — ArcelorMittal — CEO, Chairman
  5. Raj Subramaniam — FedEx — President, CEO
  6. Vivek Sankaran — Albertsons — President, CEO
  7. Vasant Narasimhan — Novartis — Chief Executive Officer
  8. Punit Renjen — Deloitte — Global Chief Executive Officer
  9. Bharat Masrani — TD Bank — CEO, Group President
  10. Mike Mohan — Best Buy — President
  11. Bob Patel — Lyondell Basell Industries — Chief Executive Officer
  12. Rajeev Suri — Nokia — Chief Executive Officer
  13. Revathi Advaithi — Flex — Chief Executive Officer
  14. Sunny Verghese — Olam International Group — Chief Executive Officer
  15. Prem Watsa — Fairfax Financial — Chief Executive Officer
  16. Sanjay Mehrotra — Micron Technology — CEO, President
  17. Saum Sutaria — Tenet Healthcare — President, CEO
  18. Ajay Banga — Mastercard — CEO, Chairman-elect, President
  19. Ivan Menezes — Diageo — Chief Executive Officer
  20. Laxman Narasimhan — Reckitt Benckiser Group — Chief Executive Officer
  21. Sonia Syngal — Gap Inc. — Chief Executive Officer
  22. Siva Sivaram — Western Digital — President
  23. Kevin Lobo — Stryker — Chief Executive Officer
  24. Piyush Gupta — DBS Group — Chief Executive Officer
  25. Raj Gupta — Aptiv/Avantor — Chairman of the Board
  26. Bob Pragada — Jacobs Engineering — Co-President, CEO
  27. Shantanu Narayen — Adobe — Chairman, CEO, & President
  28. Rajiv Malik — Mylan — President
  29. Aloke Lohia — Indorama Ventures Group — Chief Executive Officer
  30. Niraj Shah — Wayfair — Co-Chairman, President & CEO

Indiaspora is a nonprofit organization established to transform the Indian diaspora’s success into a meaningful impact worldwide. The members form a robust network of global leaders who serve as a platform to build healthier communities with a culture of giving and inspiring social change.

Source: Indiaspora

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July 10, 2020

Cycles4Change Challenge for Cities in India.

Housing Ministry India

India Smart Cities, Cycling

New Delhi | July 10, 2020 — The Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, today opened the Registration for India Cycles4Change Challenge. Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State, Housing and Urban Affairs, had launched the Challenge on June 25, 2020.

Over 450 participants, including CEOs of Smart Cities, Commissioners, City Officials, Civil Society Organizations, Experts, and Citizens, attended the Registration Applications Opening event.

The Challenge aims to help cities connect with their citizens and experts to develop a unified vision to promote Cycling. Municipalities are encouraged to collaborate with Civil Society Organizations, experts, and volunteers to create and implement their plans. Citizen collaboration will also be a key metric in the evaluation of proposals submitted by the cities.

Cities in India can access the Challenge and register here:

India Cycles4Change Challenge

• The Challenge is open to all cities under the Smart Cities Mission, capital cities of States/UTs, and all cities with a population of more than 5 lakh.

• All eligible cities can register and submit their applications on the portal from July 10 to July 21.

The Challenge will run in two stages. Stage One will work until October, where cities will focus on piloting quick interventions to promote Cycling and developing a scale-up strategy. In October 2020, the Ministry will shortlist 11 towns. The shortlisted cities will receive Rs. 1 Crore award and guidance from national and international experts to further scale-up the initiatives.

• The Vision of the India Cycles4Change Challenge

Recent surveys indicate that the need for personalized forms of transport would increase as a response to COVID-19. The studies show that Cycling would increase by 50-65% as cities in India come out of lockdown. Cities around the world are leveraging the opportunity to expand their cycling networks and public bicycle-sharing systems. According to experts, increasing Cycling can help cities in a green economic recovery; investments in cycling infrastructure have economic benefits of up to 5.5 times the initial investment; Cycling for short distances can result in an annual gain of INR 1.8 trillion to the Indian economy.

“The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is committed to helping cities develop high-quality transport systems that offer sustainable mobility options to their residents. I urge all cities to achieve a vision of safe and fun Cycling for everyone,” said Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State, Housing and Urban Affairs, India.

“We are proud to launch the India Cycles4Change Challenge with the ambitious goal of creating cycling-friendly cities across the country. Cycling can aid a green recovery from COVID-19 for the transport sector and create a golden age for active, sustainable, and efficient travel in our cities,” stated Mr. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Source: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, India

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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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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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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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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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June 29, 2020

Insider Tips from a Top Model, Tiana Pongs

Book Cover

Photo: The cover of the book “Keep Smiling” written by a top model, Tiana Pongs.

BERLIN, June 29, 2020 — For many girls, a modeling career is a dream, and usually remains so since it is lucrative. As an international model and actress, Tiana Pongs has been one of Germany’s leading advertising faces for many years. Tiana knows the modeling industry inside out. Her guide “Keep Smiling” (Ebozon Verlag) explains, step by step, how to start, what the everyday life looks like, and how emerging models can successfully establish themselves on the international market.

How do I get a professional agency? How do I find photographers and clients, and how do I deal with them? How do photoshoots work? Tiana Pongs provides first-hand information about general conditions and the dos and don’ts at work. She also talks about fees and tax advisors, travels information, and practical beauty and nutrition tips. She also provides a current and verified list of agencies from around the world.

Tiana Pongs does not leave out the profession’s pitfalls and the unsightly sides of model life - offensive offers, always “on stay,” controlling the body, homesickness. Those who know and remain prepared can learn a lot in the multifaceted fashion business - and earn good money. An inspiring guide with helpful insider knowledge!

Tiana Pongs, born in Mönchengladbach in 1979, started a successful international career as a model in 2001. After graduating from high school, she worked in Milan, Paris, Cape Town and New York. With over 1,000 advertising productions, she was one of the leading faces in Germany. She graced various international covers, product packaging, TV, and advertising campaigns. Tiana Pongs currently lives in Düsseldorf with her son and commutes between Germany and the USA. She works as an actress and is the official ambassador for the children’s aid organization World Vision Germany.

BUCH CONTACT, a German Public Relations agency, is promoting her book “Keep Smiling.”


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June 28, 2020

TomTom Traffic Index: Global Traffic Congestion Up as Bengaluru takes Crown of ‘World’s Most Traffic Congested City’

Traffic Index


Amsterdam, The Netherlands — Location technology specialist TomTom recently released the TomTom Traffic Index results, a report detailing the traffic situation in 416 cities in 57 countries. Bengaluru takes the top spot this year with drivers in the southern Indian city expecting to spend an average of 71% extra travel time stuck in traffic. Next in the global rankings are Philippine capital, Manila (71%); Bogota in Colombia (68%); last year’s most congested city, Mumbai (65%); and Pune (59%), also in India; making up the top five most congested cities in the world.

Greater Moscow takes the lead in Europe (59%) with Istanbul (55%) coming a close second. Kyiv (53%), Bucharest (52%), and Saint Petersburg (49%) make up the rest of the top five. Paris (39%), Rome (38%), and London (38%) ranked in at 14th, 15th, and 17th, respectively.

In the US, the top five most congested cities are Los Angeles (42%), New York (37%), San Francisco (36%), San Jose (33%), and Seattle (31%).

Congestion up, globally: At what cost?

Traffic congestion has increased globally during the last decade. The 239 cities (57%) TomTom included in the new Traffic Index report had increased congestion levels between 2018 and 2019, with only 63 towns showing measurable decreases. Despite being an indicator of a strong economy, this global increase in Congestion costs economies billions.

Ralf-Peter Schäfer, TomTom’s VP of Traffic Information, said: “Globally, there’s a long road to travel until we bring congestion levels under control. In time, the rise of autonomous vehicles and car-sharing services will alleviate Congestion, but planners and policymakers can’t afford to sit and wait. They need to use all the tools available to analyze traffic levels and impacts so that they can make critical infrastructure decisions. And drivers have a role to play too. Small changes in driving behaviors can make a substantial difference.”

Analyzing real-time incidents and Congestion to predict traffic before it happens, TomTom’s Real-Time Traffic makes TomTom navigation software more accurate with enhanced route calculations and correct Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). According to TomTom, it is a market leader, with its traffic technology in millions of cars on the road. Further, its Traffic Analysis knows the way ahead, saving time, fuel, and stress for drivers, fleet and logistics providers, on-demand services (ride-hailing, food delivery), and traffic management services.

The location technology specialist’s work on the future of driving - from high definition maps for autonomous vehicles to efficient electric vehicle routing and charging - means that carmakers, technology companies, road authorities, and governments already have the tools to make the roads less congested.

How do you beat traffic congestion?

Next time you are heading into traffic, consider these helpful tips from TomTom:

  1. Plan before you go: Taking a few moments before heading out the door to inform yourself on the road conditions on the way to your destination will help you consider your alternatives and decide on the best course of action.

  2. Trust technology to help you. It may be uncomfortable to take the road less traveled simply because your navigation app. suggests it’s the fastest one. Often, if you cannot see that a path is indeed congested, it is hard to believe it. Dare to take the alternative route offered by up-to-date navigation because it is basing its recommendation on real-time traffic conditions on the direction you are taking.

  3. Change your driving habits. Most often, traffic will peak at certain times of the day, depending on location.

  4. Consider alternatives. Does your trip have to be made by car? If your planned activity is time-sensitive and cannot change your departure times, consider ride-sharing, public transport, or non-motorized options such as cycling or scooters.

  5. Work with your city. Ultimately, improving mobility in our cities is a collaborative effort. Together, city authorities, vehicle manufacturers, traffic signal system providers, parking facilities, traffic information providers, shared mobility providers, startups and, most importantly, the public, are experimenting and transforming cities worldwide. Inform yourself of the initiatives taking place in your urban area and how you can benefit from them.

Ranking of the most congested cities Globally (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - population over 800,000):

  1. Bengaluru, India 71%
  2. Manila, Philippines 71%
  3. Bogota, Colombia 68%
  4. Mumbai, India 65%
  5. Pune, India 59%
  6. Moscow, Russia 59%
  7. Lima, Peru 57%
  8. New Delhi, India 56%
  9. Istanbul, Turkey 55%
  10. Jakarta, Indonesia 53%

Ranking of the most congested cities in Europe (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - population over 800,000):

  1. Moscow, Russia 59%
  2. Istanbul, Turkey 55%
  3. Kyiv, Ukraine 53%
  4. Bucharest, Romania 52%
  5. Saint Petersburg, Russia 49%
  6. Dublin, Ireland 48%
  7. Odesa, Ukraine 47%
  8. Novosibirsk, Russia 45%
  9. Samara, Russia 44%
  10. Kharkiv, Ukraine 43%

Ranking of the most congested cities in the United States of America (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - population over 800,000):

  1. Los Angeles, USA 42%
  2. New York, USA 37%
  3. San Francisco, USA 36%
  4. San Jose, USA 33%
  5. Seattle, USA 31%
  6. Miami, USA 31%
  7. Washington, USA 29%
  8. Chicago, USA 28%
  9. Honolulu, USA 28%
  10. Austin, USA 27%

Ranking of the most congested cities in South America (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - population over 800,000):

  1. Bogota, Colombia 68%
  2. Lima, Peru 57%
  3. Recife, Brazil 50%
  4. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 46%
  5. Sao Paolo, Brazil 45%
  6. Santiago, Chile 44%
  7. Salvador, Brazil 43%
  8. Fortaleza, Brazil 37%
  9. Belo Horizonte, Brazil 35%
  10. Porto Alegre, Brazil 35%

Ranking of the most congested cities in Asia (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - population over 800,000):

  1. Bengaluru, India 71%
  2. Manila, Philippines 71%
  3. Mumbai, India 65%
  4. Pune, India 59%
  5. New Delhi, India 56%
  6. Jakarta, Indonesia 53%
  7. Bangkok, Thailand 53%
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel 46%
  9. Tokyo, Japan 42%
  10. Chongqing, China 41%

Ranking of the most congested cities in Africa (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - all population sizes):

  1. Cairo, Egypt 40%
  2. Cape Town, S. Africa 32%
  3. Johannesburg, S. Africa 30%
  4. Pretoria, S. Africa 25%
  5. East London, S. Africa 22%
  6. Durban, S. Africa 19%
  7. Bloemfontein, S. Africa 13%

Ranking of the most congested cities in Australia and Oceania (Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - all population sizes):

  1. Sydney, Australia 33%
  2. Auckland, New Zealand 31%
  3. Melbourne, Australia 30%
  4. Wellington, New Zealand 28%
  5. Hamilton, New Zealand 25%
  6. Brisbane, Australia 25%
  7. Adelaide, Australia 24%
  8. Gold Coast, Australia 24%
  9. Hobart, Australia 23%
  10. Christchurch, New Zealand 21%

Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 30 countries, TomTom is a leading independent location technology specialist. It shapes mobility with maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information, and services.

Source: TomTom


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June 26, 2020

International Monetary Fund significantly downgrades global growth in its latest update to the World Economic Outlook forecast.

IMF Report

Photo: IMF Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath, poses before providing the World Economic Outlook update during the COVID-19 Pandemic at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. on June 24, 2020. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock.

Washington, D.C. | June 25, 2020 — The International Monetary Fund is downgrading global growth significantly in its latest update to the World Economic Outlook forecast. The COVID-19 Pandemic sets the world economy back by $12 trillion in lost potential, the Fund’s chief economist Gita Gopinath said Wednesday in Washington, DC.

The effects of COVID-19 make IMF shift its forecast down to -4.9 percent this year overall, before a predicted return to growth in 2021. That’s a sharp -1.9 dip from its last forecast in April, said Gopinath.

“This is an unprecedented crisis, and this is indeed the worst recession since the Great Depression,” Gopinath added.

She warned that the forecast is the first time since the IMF began measuring that every region in the world is shrinking.

“It was already the worst recession since the Great Depression in April when we had projected growth for 2020 to be at minus three percent. But now at minus four-point nine percent, that is even more strongly true. And no country has been spared. Emerging markets, developing economies, advanced economies have all been very badly hit during this crisis,” said the Indian economist.

There is a higher-than-normal amount of uncertainty surrounding the forecast, the IMF says in the update.

“These projections imply a committed cumulative loss to the global economy over two years of over twelve trillion dollars from this crisis. The downgrade from April reflects worse than anticipated outcomes in the first half of this year, an expectation of more persistent social distancing into the second half of this year and damage to supply potential,” she explained.

Although there are some positive signs that the crisis may be ‘bottoming out,’ she said that countries need to remain vigilant.

“We’re not out of the woods. The health crisis is not over. And so we could see a potential second wave. We’ve assumed in our baseline number that there could be an increase in the number of infections. However, we are not going to see the kind of stringent lockdowns needed in the first half of this year,” said Gopinath.

The IMF has already provided emergency financial assistance to more than 70 countries since the Pandemic hit, totaling over $250 billion of its total firepower of $1 trillion in assets.

There is evidence that efforts have had a positive impact on blunting the impact on global growth, the quarterly report cited.

But countries will need to be prepared to adjust and take on reforms to deal with increased debt levels in the future, the IMF says.

“Indeed, when the recovery is stronger, we are in a better place with the health crisis better able to manage it than countries will have to undertake medium-term fiscal management. And when a while, through a combination of expenditure and revenue measures and now, countries should make sure that they are following best practices and putting proper safeguards in place using, you know, making sure there are proper fiscal accounting and fiscal transparency. But as of now, the need of the hour is for this kind of policy support,” Gopinath ended.

Source: International Monetary Fund

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