Flooid Announces Strategic Partnership with FreedomPay to Expand Global Reach

The partnership will bring enhanced commerce functionality to Retailers around the world.

London, England, Jan. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flooid today announces a strategic partnership with FreedomPay, the global leader in Next Level Commerce™, to bring industry-leading Retail solutions to merchants globally.

Powered by FreedomPay, Flooid allows merchants to connect their retail channels, removing barriers between online and in-store payments. FreedomPay’s data-driven commerce platform grants merchants access to valuable analytics and Business Intelligence platform to drive further customer engagement and loyalty through targeted offers and incentives, all within a frictionless integrated payment solution.

“Through this partnership with FreedomPay, we are bringing enhanced innovation, choice, and flexibility to retailers on the Flooid platform,” said Donna Stevens, Senior VP of Product and Marketing at Flooid. Our goal is to empower merchants with the tools they need to provide the best shopping experience to consumers globally.”

The FreedomPay platform enables enterprises to provide a consistent payment experience for their customers globally, creating a seamless and flexible retail experience managing security, data and loyalty all from a single, unified tech stack.

“The partnership between FreedomPay and Flooid will bring a world-class commerce experience to retailers and shoppers around the globe,” said Liesl Smith, Senior VP of Marketing and Sales Enablement at FreedomPay. “Together we are committed to delivering a seamless payment experience to customers, enabling an innovative and seamless omnichannel payment environment.”

About FreedomPay

FreedomPay’s Next Level Commerce™ platform transforms existing payment systems and processes from legacy to leading edge. As the premier choice for many of the largest companies across the globe in retail, hospitality, lodging, gaming, sports and entertainment, foodservice, education, healthcare and financial services, FreedomPay’s technology has been purposely built to deliver rock solid performance in the highly complex environment of global commerce. The company maintains a world-class security environment and was first to earn the coveted validation by the PCI Security Standards Council against Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE/EMV) standard in North America. FreedomPay’s robust solutions across payments, security, identity, and data analytics are available in-store, online and on-mobile and are supported by rapid API adoption. The award winning FreedomPay Commerce Platform operates on a single, unified technology stack across multiple continents allowing enterprises to deliver an innovative Next Level experience on a global scale. www.freedompay.com

About Flooid

Flooid helps retailers create the seamless shopping experiences customers demand. Flooid’s unified commerce platform empowers merchants to sell to customers flexibly and consistently wherever they are and however they choose to shop. Our best of breed open ecosystem givers retailers the power to connect leading retail tech partners with a single unified commerce platform to engage with your shoppers, sell more effectively across channels and adapt to retail shopping changes we have yet to imagine.

Jennifer Tayebi
Hill+Knowlton Strategies for FreedomPay
+1 734 395 0780
Jennifer.Tayebi@hkstrategies.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8729158

Hisense élargit les options de divertissement à domicile pour les consommateurs sud-africains avec le lancement du nouveau téléviseur ULED 8K U80H Mini-LED

CAPE TOWN, Afrique du Sud, 13 janvier 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hisense, marque d’électronique mondiale leader, a récemment annoncé la sortie du téléviseur ULED 8K U80H Mini-LED en Afrique du Sud. Le téléviseur U80H offre une profondeur et des détails inégalés, avec 33 millions de pixels, soit 4 fois plus qu’un téléviseur 4K standard. Ce téléviseur intelligent de nouvelle génération est également doté d’un certain nombre de fonctionnalités innovantes, qui créent une expérience de divertissement véritablement immersive.

Le téléviseur U80H est équipé d’un upscaler d’image par IA 8K, capable d’augmenter les performances de l’image pour obtenir des normes d’image d’une qualité exceptionnelle avec des détails très précis. Au lieu de simplement dupliquer les pixels, l’algorithme intelligent peut analyser les images et restituer les bons pixels pour améliorer la qualité et la précision de l’image. En outre, le processeur Hisense Hi-View Engine Pro intègre un ensemble d’algorithmes de deep learning pour analyser intelligemment les images trame par trame et ajuster les pixels avec précision, en optimisant les ombres et la luminosité. La combinaison de ces outils innovants permet d’obtenir un affichage à plage dynamique élevée, avec une riche gamme de couleurs, haute définition et avec une haute fluidité de mouvement.

Le téléviseur U80H utilise la technologie Mini-LED Pro de Hisense qui optimise plus de 500 zones de gradation locales pour apporter des améliorations notables à la plage de luminosité, à la visibilité des détails et à la netteté entre les images claires et sombres. Grâce aux cristaux Quantum Dot Colour, les trois couleurs primaires sont affichées avec beaucoup plus de précision que sur les téléviseurs LED classiques, et la technologie de pointe HDR10+ utilise les métadonnées dynamiques de chaque image pour ajuster les paramètres de couleur, de luminosité et de contraste, ce qui donne une image beaucoup plus réaliste. Pour le son, bien que le téléviseur U80H puisse être connecté à n’importe quelle enceinte, il est également doté de la technologie Dolby Atmos® de classe mondiale pour une expérience audio des plus riches.

Android TV est intégré directement au téléviseur U80H, ce qui signifie que les utilisateurs peuvent choisir parmi plus de 400 000 films et émissions grâce aux services de streaming. Le produit se revendique comme « la seule façon de profiter chez soi d’une image, d’un son et d’une échelle dignes de l’IMAX », grâce à la technologie IMAX® Enhanced qui associe des contenus HDR 4K remastérisés numériquement et des technologies audio DTS® aux meilleurs produits électroniques grand public et plateformes de streaming. En ce qui concerne les modes de divertissement, les appareils prennent en charge la technologie Game Mode PRO avec eARC, ALLM et VRR pour minimiser le décalage des entrées, la gigue de l’écran et les tremblements.

Pour une utilisation facile, ces modes et d’autres fonctions peuvent être contrôlés à l’aide de la commande vocale, ce qui permet aux utilisateurs de n’utiliser que leur voix pour rechercher, régler et contrôler les téléviseurs et autres appareils intelligents de la maison.

Le modèle Hisense U80H 75 pouces est disponible chez Hirsch’s. Veuillez consulter https://hisense.co.za/products/hisense-u80h-mini-led-uled-8k-tv/.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1982077/image_5020023_14499256.jpg

Sabin Vaccine Institute Receives $35 Million from BARDA with Potential of up to $214 Million for Ebola Sudan and Marburg Vaccines

Sabin Vaccine Institute Awarded BARDA Contract With Funding Potential up to $214M for Ebola Sudan and Marburg Vaccines

The Sabin Vaccine Institute will produce up to 100,000 doses of Sabin’s Ebola Sudan vaccine as part of a new, multi-year contract with BARDA

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sabin Vaccine Institute today announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded Sabin a multi-year contract with funding potential for up to $214 million to advance the development and production of single-dose vaccine candidates for Ebola Sudan and Marburg virus diseases.

There are currently no licensed vaccines against Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses, which cause hemorrhagic fever and kill approximately half the people infected.

BARDA, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), will initially invest approximately $35 million to produce up to 100,000 doses of Sabin’s Ebola Sudan virus (ChAd3-SUDV) vaccine. These vaccines may be used as part of ongoing U.S. preparedness efforts and in response to future global outbreaks.

The Sabin vaccine was the first to arrive in Uganda during the recent Ebola Sudan virus outbreak that caused 55 deaths after the World Health Organization included it as one of three vaccines for possible use in an outbreak trial in Uganda. The country declared the Ebola Sudan outbreak had ended on January 11, four months after the first confirmed case.

“Sabin successfully delivered Ebola Sudan vaccine doses to Uganda within 79 days of the start of the outbreak – quite an impressive accomplishment,” says Sabin Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. “This new contract enables Sabin to produce up to 100,000 doses so the world is prepared in advance for future outbreaks.”

In addition to participating in recent outbreak activities, Sabin continues its Sudan development plan and has initiated Phase 2 clinical trial planning in Uganda and Kenya. Based on previous clinical trials, Sabin’s Ebola Sudan vaccine is safe and immunogenic, and in nonhuman primate studies has demonstrated rapid protection, durability up to 12 months, and efficacy.

In addition to Sabin’s ChAd3-SUDV vaccine, the contract also includes support to manufacture Sabin’s vaccine against Marburg virus (ChAd3-MARV), which would generate doses that could also be used in trials and in response to a possible Marburg virus outbreak. As recently as last July, two people in Ghana died after being infected with Marburg virus, reinforcing the urgent need for a vaccine.

The new contract leverages a partnership with BARDA that began in 2019, when the agency awarded Sabin another multi-year contract valued at $128 million to further the development of vaccines against both the Marburg and Ebola Sudan viruses.

“BARDA has been a supportive partner as we take these essential steps in pandemic preparedness,” said Finan. “The Ebola Sudan outbreak in Uganda underscored the critical need for readily available solutions. We’ll now have ample material to respond quickly to such an outbreak in the future.”

This project will be funded in whole with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under contract number 75A50123C00010.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with three decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit www.sabin.org and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

About Ebola Sudan and Marburg

Ebola Sudan and Marburg are members of the filovirus family. Both can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. No therapeutic treatment of these hemorrhagic fevers has been licensed to date. Marburg and Ebola viruses are transmitted to humans by infected animals, particularly fruit bats. Once a human is infected, the virus can spread to others through close personal contact or contact with bodily fluids. Isolation of infected people is currently the centerpiece of filovirus control.

Marburg was the first filovirus to be recognized in 1967 when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever were reported in a few Europe-based laboratories including in the town of Marburg, Germany. Ebola was identified in 1976 when two simultaneous outbreaks occurred in northern Zaire (now the DRC) in a village near the Ebola River and in southern Sudan. The outbreaks involved what eventually proved to be two different species of Ebola virus; both were named after the nations in which they were discovered.

For media inquiries:

press@sabin.org

Media Contact:
Monika Guttman
Media Relations Specialist
Sabin Vaccine Institute
+1 (202) 662-1841
press@sabin.org

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/539c9127-e5d6-4b32-9e89-780f7461314b

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8728283

Sabin Vaccine Institute recebe US $ 35 milhões da BARDA com potencial de até US $ 214 milhões para a fabricação de vacinas Ebola Sudão e Marburg

Sabin Vaccine Institute fecha contrato com a BARDA com potencial de financiamento de até US $ 214 milhões para fabricação de vacinas contra Ebola Sudão e Marburg

O Sabin Vaccine Institute irá produzir até 100.000 doses da vacina Sabin Ebola Sudão como parte de um novo contrato plurianual com a BARDA

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — O Sabin Vaccine Institute anunciou hoje que a Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) fechou com a Sabin um contrato plurianual com potencial de financiamento de até US $ 214 milhões para o avanço do desenvolvimento e da produção de vacinas candidatas à dose única para as doenças causadas pelos vírus Ebola Sudão e Marburg.

Atualmente não existem vacinas licenciadas contra os vírus Ebola Sudão e Marburg, que causam febre hemorrágica e matam aproximadamente metade das pessoas infectadas.

A BARDA, parte da Administração de Preparação e Resposta Estratégica (ASPR) do Departamento de Saúde e Serviços Humanos dos EUA, investirá inicialmente aproximadamente US $ 35 milhões para produzir até 100.000 doses da vacina da Sabin contra o vírus Ebola Sudão (ChAd3-SUDV). Essas vacinas podem ser usadas como parte dos esforços contínuos de preparação dos EUA e em resposta a futuros surtos globais.

A vacina Sabin foi a primeira a chegar a Uganda durante o recente surto do vírus Ebola no Sudão que causou 55 mortes, depois que a Organização Mundial de Saúde a incluiu como uma das três vacinas para possível uso em um teste de surto em Uganda. O país declarou que o surto de Ebola no Sudão havia terminado em 11 de janeiro, quatro meses após o primeiro caso confirmado.

“A Sabin entregou com sucesso a Uganda doses da vacina contra o Ebola Sudão em 79 dias depois do início do surto – uma conquista impressionante”, disse a Diretora Executiva da Sabin, Amy Finan. “Este novo contrato permite que a Sabin produza até 100.000 doses para que o mundo esteja preparado com antecedência para futuros surtos.”

Além de participar de atividades recentes de surto, a Sabin continua seu plano de desenvolvimento no Sudão e iniciou a Fase 2 de planejamento de ensaios clínicos em Uganda e no Quênia. Com base em ensaios clínicos anteriores, a vacina contra o Ebola Sudão da Sabin é segura e imunogênica, e em estudos com primatas não humanos demonstrou proteção rápida, durabilidade de até 12 meses e eficácia.

Além da vacina ChAd3-SUDV da Sabin, o contrato também inclui suporte para a fabricação da vacina da Sabin contra o vírus Marburg (ChAd3-MARV), que podem gerar doses que podem ser usadas em testes e em resposta a um possível surto do vírus Marburg. Em Julho passado, duas pessoas em Gana morreram depois de terem sido infectadas com o vírus Marburg, e isso demonstra claramente a necessidade urgente da criação de vacinas.

O novo contrato alavanca uma parceria com a BARDA que teve início em 2019, quando a agência fechou com a Sabin outro contrato de vários anos com um valor de US $ 128 milhões para o desenvolvimento de vacinas contra os vírus Marburg e Ebola Sudão.

“A BARDA tem sido parceira de apoio às nossas medidas essenciais para a preparação para a pandemia”, disse Finan. “O surto de Ebola Sudão em Uganda ressaltou a necessidade vital de soluções prontamente disponíveis. E teremos amplo material para responder rapidamente a esse surto no futuro.”

Este projeto será financiado, no todo, com fundos federais do Departamento de Saúde e Serviços Humanos; Administração para Preparação e Resposta Estratégica; Autoridade de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Avançado Biomédico, sob o contrato número 75A50123C00010.

Sobre o Sabin Vaccine Institute

O Sabin Vaccine Institute é um dos principais defensores da expansão do acesso e uso de vacinas em todo o mundo, do avanço da pesquisa e desenvolvimento de vacinas e da ampliação do conhecimento e inovação das vacinas. Revelando o potencial das vacinas através da parceria, o Sabin criou um ecossistema robusto de financiadores, inovadores, implementadores, profissionais, formuladores de políticas e partes interessadas públicas para avançar sua visão de um futuro livre de doenças evitáveis. Como uma organização sem fins lucrativos com três décadas de experiência, o Sabin está empenhado em encontrar soluções duradouras que levem todos os benefícios das vacinas a todas as pessoas, independentemente de quem sejam ou de onde vivem. No Sabin, acreditamos no poder das vacinas para mudar o mundo. Para mais informação, visite www.sabin.org e siga-nos no Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

Sobre a Ebola Sudão e Marburg

Ebola Sudão e Marburg são membros da família dos filovírus. Ambos podem causar febre hemorrágica grave em seres humanos e primatas não humanos. Nenhum tratamento terapêutico das febres hemorrágicas foi licenciado até o momento. Os vírus Marburg e Ebola são transmitidos aos seres humanos por animais infectados, particularmente pelos morcegos-fruta. Uma vez infectada, uma pessoa pode transmitir o vírus para outras pessoas através do contato pessoal próximo ou com fluidos corporais. O isolamento das pessoas infectadas atualmente é a parte central do controle do filovírus.

O Marburg foi o primeiro filovírus a ser identificado em 1967, quando surtos de febre hemorrágica foram relatados em alguns laboratórios da Europa, incluindo na cidade de Marburg, Alemanha. A ebola foi identificada em 1976, quando dois surtos simultâneos ocorreram no norte do Zaire (agora RDC) em uma aldeia perto do rio Ebola e sul do Sudão. Os surtos envolveram o que eventualmente provou ser duas espécies diferentes do vírus Ebola; ambos receberam o nome nações em que foram descobertos.

Para Informações para a Mídia:

press@sabin.org

Contato com a Mídia:
Monika Guttman
Especialista em Relações com a Mídia
Sabin Vaccine Institute
+1 (202) 662-1841
press@sabin.org

Foto deste comunicado disponível em https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/539c9127-e5d6-4b32-9e89-780f7461314b/pt

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8729001

Le Sabin Vaccine Institute reçoit 35 millions de dollars de la BARDA avec un potentiel pouvant atteindre jusqu’à 214 millions de dollars pour les vaccins Ebola-Soudan et Marburg

Le Sabin Vaccine Institute remporte un contrat avec la BARDA dont le potentiel de financement pourrait atteindre 214 millions de dollars pour les vaccins contre les virus Ebola-Soudan et Marburg

Le Sabin Vaccine Institute produira jusqu’à 100 000 doses de vaccin de Sabin contre le virus Ebola-Soudan dans le cadre d’un nouveau contrat pluriannuel avec la BARDA

WASHINGTON, 12 janv. 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Le Sabin Vaccine Institute a annoncé aujourd’hui que la Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) avait attribué à Sabin un contrat pluriannuel avec un potentiel de financement pouvant atteindre 214 millions de dollars pour faire progresser le développement et la production de candidats vaccins à dose unique pour les maladies que causent les virus Ebola-Soudan et Marburg.

Il n’existe actuellement aucun vaccin autorisé contre les virus Ebola-Soudan et Marburg, qui causent des fièvres hémorragiques et tuent à peu près la moitié des personnes infectées.

La BARDA, qui fait partie de l’Administration pour la préparation et la réponse stratégiques (Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, ASPR) du Département de la Santé et des Services sociaux des États-Unis, investira au départ environ 35 millions de dollars pour produire jusqu’à 100 000 doses de vaccin de Sabin contre le virus Ebola-Soudan (ChAd3-SUDV). Ces vaccins pourront être utilisés dans le cadre des efforts actuels de préparation des États-Unis et en réponse aux futures épidémies mondiales.

Le vaccin de Sabin a été le premier à arriver en Ouganda lors de la récente épidémie de virus Ebola-Soudan qui a tué 55 personnes après que l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé l’a inclus comme l’un des trois vaccins pouvant être utilisés dans un essai contre les cas d’épidémie en Ouganda. Le pays a déclaré que l’épidémie d’Ebola-Soudan s’était terminée le 11 janvier, quatre mois après le premier cas confirmé.

« Sabin est parvenue à fournir des doses de vaccin contre l’Ebola-Soudan en Ouganda dans les 79 jours qui ont suivi le début de l’épidémie, ce qui est réellement impressionnant », a commenté Amy Finan, présidente-directrice générale de Sabin. « Ce nouveau contrat permet à Sabin de produire jusqu’à 100 000 doses afin que le monde soit préparé à l’avance aux futures épidémies. »

En plus de participer aux récentes activités contre les épidémies, Sabin poursuit son plan de développement au Soudan et a initié la planification d’un essai clinique de phase 2 en Ouganda et au Kenya. Sur la base des précédents essais cliniques, le vaccin de Sabin contre l’Ebola-Soudan est sûr et immunogène, et lors d’études sur des primates non humains, il a démontré son efficacité, sa protection à action rapide et sa durabilité jusqu’à 12 mois.

Outre le vaccin ChAd3-SUDV de Sabin, le contrat comprend aussi un soutien à la fabrication du vaccin de Sabin contre le virus Marburg (ChAd3-MARV), consistant en la production de doses pouvant également être utilisées dans des essais et en réponse à une possible épidémie de virus Marburg. Pas plus tard qu’en juillet de cette année, deux personnes sont mortes au Ghana après avoir été infectées par le virus Marburg, renforçant ainsi le besoin urgent d’un vaccin.

Le nouveau contrat s’appuie sur un partenariat avec la BARDA qui a débuté en 2019, lorsque l’agence a attribué à Sabin un autre contrat pluriannuel d’une valeur de 128 millions de dollars pour poursuivre le développement de vaccins contre les virus Marburg et Ebola-Soudan.

« L’aide que nous apporte la BARDA en tant que partenaire est inestimable alors que nous prenons ces mesures essentielles pour nous préparer aux pandémies », a ajouté Mme Finan. « L’épidémie d’Ebola-Soudan en Ouganda a souligné qu’il était réellement crucial de disposer de solutions prêtes à l’emploi. Nous possèderons désormais des ressources suffisantes pour réagir rapidement à une telle épidémie à l’avenir. »

Ce projet sera financé en totalité par des fonds fédéraux du Département de la Santé et des Services sociaux, l’Administration pour la préparation et la réponse stratégiques et la Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, sous le contrat numéro 75A50123C00010.

À propos du Sabin Vaccine Institute

Le Sabin Vaccine Institute est l’un des principaux défenseurs de l’élargissement de l’accès aux vaccins et de leur adoption à l’échelle mondiale, de l’avancement de la recherche et du développement de vaccins et de l’amplification des connaissances et de l’innovation en matière de vaccins. Libérant le potentiel des vaccins par le partenariat, Sabin a bâti un écosystème robuste de bailleurs de fonds, innovateurs, agents de mise en œuvre, praticiens, décideurs politiques et parties prenantes publiques pour faire avancer sa vision d’un avenir où les maladies évitables ont enfin disparu. En tant qu’organisation sans but lucratif comptant trois décennies d’expérience, Sabin s’est engagée à trouver des solutions qui durent et à étendre tous les bienfaits des vaccins à l’ensemble des individus, peu importe qui ils sont et où ils résident. Chez Sabin, nous sommes convaincus que les vaccins ont le pouvoir de changer le monde. Pour de plus amples informations, rendez-vous sur le site www.sabin.org et suivez-nous sur Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

À propos des virus Ebola-Soudan et Marburg

Ebola-Soudan et Marburg font partie de la famille des filovirus. Les deux peuvent causer des fièvres hémorragiques sévères chez l’humain et les primates non humains. Aucun traitement thérapeutique de ces fièvres hémorragiques n’a été autorisé à ce jour. Les virus Marburg et Ebola sont transmis aux humains par des animaux infectés, en particulier les chauves-souris frugivores. Une fois qu’un être humain est infecté, ces virus peuvent se propager à d’autres par le biais d’un contact personnel étroit ou d’un contact avec des fluides corporels. L’isolation des personnes infectées constitue actuellement la principale stratégie pour contrôler les filovirus.

Marburg a été le premier filovirus à être reconnu en 1967 lorsque des épidémies de fièvre hémorragique ont été signalées dans plusieurs laboratoires basés en Europe, y compris dans la ville de Marbourg, en Allemagne. Le virus Ebola a été identifié en 1976 lorsque deux épidémies se sont produites simultanément dans le nord du Zaïre (devenu la RDC), dans un village près de la rivière Ebola et dans le sud du Soudan. Ces épidémies ont impliqué ce qui s’est finalement avéré être deux espèces différentes de virus Ebola ; chacune devant son nom à la nation dans laquelle elle a été découverte.

Pour toute demande des médias :

press@sabin.org

Contact auprès des médias :
Monika Guttman
Spécialiste des relations avec les médias
Sabin Vaccine Institute
+1 (202) 662-1841
press@sabin.org

Une photo accompagnant ce communiqué de presse est disponible à l’adresse https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/539c9127-e5d6-4b32-9e89-780f7461314b/fr

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8729001

Iranian Chess Referee Spars with Governing Body Over Women’s Solidarity

Iranian chess referee Shohreh Bayat says a gesture of solidarity with female compatriots at a tournament in Iceland has caused a feud with the game's global body and seen her kicked off a commission.

Bayat wore a "Women, Life, Freedom" T-shirt at a prestigious tournament in October, soon after protests began in Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody for breaking strict Islamic dress code.

"I don't think it's normal to stay quiet about this," Bayat, 35, told Reuters in a video interview. She is among a string of sports figures to clash with authorities over the hijab policy and express solidarity with anti-government demonstrators.

"This is a big human rights matter. I think if we stay quiet about these things, we cannot forgive ourselves," she added.

Bayat, who was also accused by Iran of violating hijab practice at a tournament in 2020, said the International Chess Federation (FIDE) had removed her from its arbiters' commission after she angered its President Arkady Dvorkovich.

The Iranian said Dvorkovich asked her to change her attire in Iceland, after another chess official had raised the issue. She reappeared at the tournament in a yellow suit and blue blouse: the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

FIDE confirmed Dvorkovich had requested she not wear the shirt about women's rights. The federation said it respected Bayat's political activities but that she "disregarded direct instructions given to her to stop wearing slogans or mottos."

"No matter how noble or uncontroversial the cause is, doing activism from that role is inappropriate and unprofessional," it said in a statement to Reuters.

Tehran casts the protesters as pawns of a Western-led push to overthrow the government.

'Beautiful message'

Bayat accused Dvorkovich, a Russian deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018, of succumbing to geopolitics.

"Iran and Russia are very united in the war against Ukraine," she said. "When I was told by Dvorkovich to take off my T-shirt, that was the reason probably.

"My T-shirt was not political at all ... It's one of the most beautiful women's rights messages in the world."

According to a message seen by Reuters, a senior FIDE official told Bayat she had been removed from the commission because Dvorkovich was "furious" with her.

Dvorkovich did not respond to a request for comment.

FIDE said it had not discussed any disciplinary action against Bayat and values her as an arbiter.

Bayat lives in London, fearing for her safety after photos of her at the 2020 tournament in Russia brought criticism in Iranian state media.

Bayat said at the time that she does not agree with the hijab, but that she had been wearing a headscarf during the championship's first matches, although it had been loose and was not visible from some angles in photographs.

Since Iran's Islamic Revolution, all women are required to wear a hijab in public, including sportswomen abroad. Women who break the dress code can be publicly berated, fined or arrested.

Bayat was awarded the International Women of Courage Award by the United States in 2021 and has since used her platform to advocate for Iranian women.

"When I can, when there is an opportunity, I have to raise the voice of Iranian people," she said.

Source: Voice Of America

WHO Alert on Indian Cough Syrups Blamed for Uzbek Deaths

The World Health Organization has issued an alert warning against the use of two Indian cough syrups blamed for the deaths of at least 20 children in Uzbekistan.

WHO said the products, manufactured by India's Marion Biotech, were "substandard" and that the firm had failed to provide guarantees about their "safety and quality.”

The alert, issued Wednesday, comes after Uzbekistan authorities said last month at least 20 children died after consuming a syrup made by the company under the brand name Doc-1 Max.

India's health ministry subsequently suspended production at the company and Uzbekistan banned the import and sale of Doc-1 Max.

The WHO alert said an analysis of the syrup samples by the quality control laboratories of Uzbekistan found "unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and /or ethylene glycol as contaminants.”

Diethylene glycol and ethylene are toxic to humans when consumed and can prove fatal.

"Both of these products may have marketing authorizations in other countries in the region. They may also have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions," WHO said.

The products were "unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death," it said.

Marion Biotech officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

It is the second Indian drugmaker to face a probe by regulators since October, when the WHO linked another firm's medicines to a spate of child deaths in Gambia.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals was accused of manufacturing several toxic cough and cold remedies that led to the deaths of at least 66 children in the African country.

The victims, mostly between 5 months and 4 years old, died of acute renal failure.

India launched a probe into Maiden Pharmaceuticals but later said the investigation had found the suspect drugs were of "standard quality.”

Source: Voice Of America