New generative AI-powered Zoom IQ features are now available to Zoom users via free trials

Zoom IQ meeting summary and chat compose features allow users to quickly summarize Zoom Meetings without recording and draft content in Zoom Team Chat SAN JOSE, Calif., June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) launched key features of Zoom IQ, a smart companion that empowers collaboration and unlocks people’s […]

Zoom IQ meeting summary and chat compose features allow users to quickly summarize Zoom Meetings without recording and draft content in Zoom Team Chat

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) launched key features of Zoom IQ, a smart companion that empowers collaboration and unlocks people’s potential through generative AI. Now available through free trials for customers in select plans,1 the Zoom Meeting summary and Zoom Team Chat compose features will help teams improve productivity, balance workday priorities, and collaborate more effectively.

“With the introduction of these new capabilities in Zoom IQ, an incredible generative AI assistant, teams can further enhance their productivity for everyday tasks, freeing up more time for creative work and expanding collaboration,” said Smita Hashim, chief product officer at Zoom. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to large language models, and with Zoom’s federated approach to AI, we are able to bring powerful capabilities to our customers and users through Zoom’s own models as well as our partners’ models.”

Zoom’s federated approach to AI leverages its own proprietary large language AI models, those from leading AI companies — such as OpenAI and Anthropic — and select customers’ own models. With this flexibility to incorporate multiple types of models, Zoom’s goal is to provide the most value for its customers’ diverse needs.

The first set of Zoom IQ capabilities is now generally available to Zoom customers in select plans as free trials:

  • Meeting summary: Zoom Meeting hosts can now create a summary powered by Zoom’s own large language models and share it via Zoom Team Chat and email without recording the conversation. Hosts receive automated summaries and can share them with attendees and those who didn’t attend to improve team collaboration and speed up productivity.
  • Chat compose: Zoom Team Chat users can now use the generative AI-powered compose feature, which leverages OpenAI’s technology, to draft messages based on the context of a Team Chat thread in addition to changing message tone and length as well as rephrasing responses to customize text recommendations.

Zoom is committed to empowering customers with the tools they need to control their data. In order to use these features, customers will need to go to the Zoom admin console and opt into the free trials for each feature. As part of the opt-in, customers will also select data-sharing options with Zoom. Account admins may change this data-sharing selection at any time. Customer data will not be used to train third-party models. More information can be found here.

To further help its customers and users, Zoom will continue to enhance its products with Zoom IQ capabilities. The next set of generative AI-powered features, scheduled to be released soon, will allow users to draft email content, summarize Team Chat threads, organize ideas, and draft whiteboard content:

  • Email compose: Harnessing the power of generative AI, users will get email draft suggestions in response to the conversational context from prior Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone calls, and email threads. Initially available in Zoom IQ for Sales, sales professionals will be able to quickly follow up with customers based on the context of their last conversation. Email compose will be generally available in the coming weeks.
  • Zoom Team Chat thread summaries: Ever step away from the computer only to come back to a flurry of Team Chat messages? Available in the coming months, Team Chat thread summaries will allow users to catch up with the click of a button.
  • Meeting queries: Joining a Zoom Meeting late can be both disruptive and confusing for the latecomer, but not anymore. Meeting queries will allow users to catch up quickly without disrupting the meeting flow by discreetly submitting a query via the in-meeting chat and receiving a generative AI-created summary of what they missed. The meeting queries feature is expected to be generally available in the coming months.
  • Whiteboard draft: Who hasn’t experienced the “cold start” problem? A slow start to a brainstorming session can put a damper on idea generation, but with whiteboard draft, teams will be able to get a set of initial ideas, simply using text prompts. The whiteboard draft feature is expected to be generally available in the coming months.
  • Whiteboard synthesize: Brainstorming sessions typically end with a lot of ideas that need to be organized in order to execute. The whiteboard synthesize feature automatically organizes ideas into categories, so teams can get to work faster. This feature is expected to be generally available in the coming months.

About Zoom
Zoom is an all-in-one intelligent collaboration platform that makes connecting easier, more immersive, and more dynamic for businesses and individuals. Zoom technology puts people at the center, enabling meaningful connections, facilitating modern collaboration, and driving human innovation through solutions like team chat, phone, meetings, omnichannel cloud contact center, smart recordings, whiteboard, and more, in one offering. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at zoom.com.

Zoom Public Relations
Lacretia Taylor
press@zoom.us

__________________________
1
Meeting summary and chat compose with Zoom IQ are currently available in English only to Zoom One packages (Enterprise Plus, Enterprise, Business Plus, Business, Pro) and select Zoom legacy bundles (Enterprise Named Host, Enterprise Active Host, Zoom Meetings Enterprise, Zoom Meetings Business, Zoom Meetings Pro) as free trials for a limited time. Select verticals and geos may be excluded.

Free trial features may be discontinued or modified at any time and may be subject to usage limits, regional or license restrictions, and other terms and conditions.

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NRx Pharmaceuticals, Lotus Pharmaceuticals and Alvogen Inc. Announce Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize NRX-101

NRx Pharmaceuticals, Lotus Pharmaceuticals, and Alvogen to collaborate on the further development and commercialization of NRX-101 for suicidal treatment-resistant bipolar depression (S-TRBD) for global markets Lotus Pharmaceuticals will acquire worldwide rights for NRX-101 for S-TRBD and will be responsible for commercialization of NRX-101 in markets outside the US through Lotus’s direct presence in certain Asian […]

  • NRx Pharmaceuticals, Lotus Pharmaceuticals, and Alvogen to collaborate on the further development and commercialization of NRX-101 for suicidal treatment-resistant bipolar depression (S-TRBD) for global markets
  • Lotus Pharmaceuticals will acquire worldwide rights for NRX-101 for S-TRBD and will be responsible for commercialization of NRX-101 in markets outside the US through Lotus’s direct presence in certain Asian markets or through their export division, which currently has partnerships in numerous markets, including in Europe, Japan, China, Australia and Latin America
  • Alvogen, through its CNS focused Almatica® division, will be responsible for U.S. commercialization of NRX-101
  • NRx will be eligible to receive up to $330 million in milestone payments tied to development progress and sales targets as well as tiered double-digit escalating to the mid-teens royalty payments contingent upon certain sales thresholds in the U.S. and a fixed royalty payment for markets outside the U.S.
  • Agreement includes a right of first negotiation for new indications outside of the field of bipolar depression with suicidality for NRX-101 and/or potential new products containing D-cycloserine in combination with an antidepressant / antipsychotic

RADNOR, Pa. and MORRISTOWN, N.J. and TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lotus Pharmaceuticals (1795:TT; “Lotus”), a multinational pharmaceutical company, Alvogen, a privately owned U.S. based pharmaceuticals company, and NRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: NRXP) (“NRx Pharmaceuticals or NRx”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced a global collaboration agreement covering the development and commercialization of NRX-101 for suicidal treatment-resistant bipolar depression (S-TRBD) for global markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, relating to NRX-101 for the U.S. market, NRx is entitled to receive an initial payment of $10 million upon achieving both a successful read-out from the ongoing Phase 2b/3 clinical trial in S-TRB and completion of a Type B meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). NRx would receive an additional payment of $5 million upon receipt of FDA approval for NRX-101 as well as bonus milestone payments of increasing amounts up to $330 million based on reaching certain net sales targets. In addition to success-based payments, NRx is eligible to receive a royalty on net sales between 12% and 16% contingent on certain sales thresholds for the U.S. market and other success-based payments for markets outside of the U.S.

Lotus will acquire worldwide rights for NRX-101 for treatment of S-TRBD and will be responsible for commercialization of NRX-101 in markets outside of the U.S. through their direct commercial presence in certain Asian markets or through Lotus’s export division where the company currently markets an extensive portfolio of products through top-tier partners. Lotus will partner with Alvogen, a longstanding partner for Lotus in the U.S., to commercialize NRX-101 for treatment of S-TRBD in the U.S. market through Alvogen’s Almatica label. Almatica is the CNS-focused division of Alvogen that currently markets six branded products. Alvogen and Lotus have committed to fund the next registrational study in suicidal treatment-resistant bipolar depression to support approval of NRX-101 contingent upon successful results of the ongoing Phase 2b/3 clinical trial and completion of a Type B meeting with the FDA. Lotus and Alvogen will have a right of first negotiation for new indications outside of the field of bipolar depression with suicidality for NRX-101 and/or potential new products containing D-cycloserine in combination with an antidepressant / antipsychotic.

Stephan Willard, J.D., Chief Executive Officer of NRx, commented, “This collaboration can accelerate the delivery of NRX-101 to patients grappling with suicidal bipolar depression who desperately need better treatment alternatives. With our current resources we believe we can fund our operations until the expected Phase 2b/3 trial data. This global partnership significantly minimizes the need for future capital raises for NRX-101 development and commercialization. Alvogen and Lotus, with their CNS expertise and global operational capabilities, are ideal partners for this and possibly other NRx programs.”

Lisa Graver, Chief Executive Officer of Alvogen, commented, “A medication that improves depression in bipolar patients with elevated risk of suicide would represent a significant improvement in treatment, and we view the Phase 2 STABIL-B data of NRX-101 as promising to that effect. This agreement is congruent with our strategy of developing branded CNS products with clear differentiation and patient benefit while leveraging our proven commercialization capabilities under our Almatica brand. NRX-101 provides an excellent addition to our growing CNS pipeline.”

Petar Vazharov, Chief Executive Officer of Lotus, commented, “This is an exciting transaction for Lotus. Over much of the last decade, Lotus has been able to transition itself from a domestic generics Taiwanese company into a global pharma company that exports its intellectual property all over the world through either our direct presence across Asia or through our export business that includes the U.S., Japan, China, Latin America and Europe. The addition of NRX-101 to our pipeline is completely in-line with our strategic objective to drive heightened innovation that addresses significant unmet medical needs.”

An estimated seven million people are living with bipolar depression in the U.S. alone1. The risk of suicide within the group is very high, with data indicating that 50% or more of these patients will attempt suicide in their lifetime2. There are currently no medications specifically approved for people with bipolar depression and elevated levels of suicidality. NRX-101 is the first investigational medication to be specifically studied in this vulnerable patient population. Proof-of-concept data from the Phase 2 STABIL clinical trial, in which patients with bipolar depression and acute suicidality were randomized to NRX-101 or lurasidone after stabilization with one infusion of ketamine, showed a statistically significant benefit of NRX-101 vs lurasidone. Based on these data, the U.S. FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) and a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for NRX-101 in bipolar depression with acute suicidality.

NRx Pharma recently announced that it has upgraded and expanded its ongoing Phase 2 randomized, controlled clinical trial in bipolar depression with sub-acute suicidality to a registrational Phase 2b/3 clinical trial.   Results from the ongoing Phase 2b/3 clinical trial are expected by year-end 2023. NRx will be hosting a conference call to discuss in greater detail the impact of the transaction.

About NRX-101

Up to 50% of individuals with bipolar disorder attempt suicide over their lifetime, and estimates indicate that up to 20% may succumb to suicide3. The only FDA-approved treatment for patients with treatment-resistant suicidal bipolar depression remains electroconvulsive therapy.

Conventional antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide in certain patients; hence their labels contain a warning to that effect. NRX-101 is a patented, oral, fixed dose combination of D-cycloserine and lurasidone, neither of which has shown addiction potential in preclinical models. Based on the results of a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study, NRX-101 received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA for the treatment of severe bipolar depression in patients with Acute Suicidal Ideation & Behavior (ASIB) after initial stabilization with ketamine or other effective therapy.

NRX-101 is one of the first oral antidepressants currently in late-stage clinical studies targeting the NMDA-receptor in the brain, which represents potentially a key new mechanism to treat depression with and without suicidality, as well as PTSD and other indications. To date, NRX-101 is the only oral NMDA investigational medicine focused on bipolar depression in patients with acute and sub-acute suicidality.

About NRx Pharmaceuticals

NRx Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for the treatment of central nervous system disorders, specifically bipolar depression with suicidality and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The company’s lead program NRX-101, an oral, fixed-dose combination of D-cycloserine and lurasidone, targets the brain’s N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and is being investigated in a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial for Suicidal Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression, which includes patients with both acute and sub-acute suicidality, an indication for which the only approved treatment is electroshock therapy. The company’s prior Phase 2 STABIL-B clinical trial evaluating NRX-101 in patients with Severe Bipolar Depression with Acute Suicidal Ideation & Behavior (ASIB) demonstrated a substantial improvement over available therapy in reducing depression and suicidality compared to placebo when patients were treated with NRX-101 after a single dose of ketamine. Based on the findings from the STABIL-B trial, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a Special Protocol Agreement and Breakthrough Therapy Designation for NRX-101 in patients with Severe Bipolar Depression with ASIB.

About Alvogen and Almatica

Alvogen is a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and selling generic and branded products for the US market. The company has a diverse portfolio and pipeline that includes both branded and generic products across various administration forms. The Alvogen-family of companies includes Alvogen US (Generics), Almatica (Brands) and Almaject (Injectables).

Almatica Pharma LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alvogen, Inc. and is a U.S. pharmaceutical company focused on the development, acquisition and commercialization of branded pharmaceutical products. Its current product portfolio covers a range of therapeutic areas, but promotional focus is on central nervous system disorders and conditions.

About Lotus

Founded in 1966, Lotus (1795: TT) is an international pharmaceutical company with global presence, focused on commercializing novel and generic pharmaceuticals, offering patients better, safe and more accessible medicines. The Company has a recognized best-in-class R&D and manufacturing platform in Asia and has established partnerships in nearly every global market including the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, and Brazil. Lotus runs over 100 strategically selected pharmaceutical projects in development and registrations across Asia and the US, with over 250 commercial products. The Company invests in diversified best portfolio consisting of high-barrier oncology, complex generics as well as 505(b)2 and NCE via internal R&D investment and licensing-in partnership, and also strengthens its portfolio competitiveness by adding biosimilar products with support from strategic partners. Its industry-leading infrastructure certified by most of the advanced regulatory authorities around the world, including US FDA, EU EMA, Japan PMDA, China FDA, and Brazil ANVISA.

1Merikangas, K., et al.(2007). Lifetime and 12-Month Prevalence of Bipolar Spectrum Disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 64:543-552

2Pallaskorpi, et al. Incidence and Predictors of suicide attempts in bipolar I and II disorder: A 5-year follow-up study, Bipolar Disorders, 2016

3Psychiatric Times; Suicide Attempts and Completions in Patients with Bipolar Disorder

NRX Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement of NRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our financial outlook, product development, business prospects, and market and industry trends and conditions, as well as the Company’s strategies, plans, objectives, and goals. These forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs, expectations, estimates, forecasts, and projections of, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, the Company’s management.

The Company assumes no obligation to revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Accordingly, you should not place reliance on any forward-looking statement, and all forward-looking statements are herein qualified by reference to the cautionary statements set forth above.

Lotus Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this document are forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on management’s expectations regarding future growth, results of operations, performance, future capital and other expenditures, competitive advantages, business prospects and opportunities. Statements in this presentation about our future plans and intentions, results, level of activities, performance, goals or achievements or other future events constitute forward looking statements. Wherever possible, words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “may”, “could”, “will”, “potential”, “intend”, “estimate”, “should”, “plan”, “predict”, or the negative or other variations of statements reflect management’s current beliefs and assumptions and are based on the information currently available to our management. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this document and we assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Lotus Contacts:

INVESTOR AND MEDIA RELATIONS
Susan Liao, Head of Investor Relations
+886 2 2700 5908
investor@lotuspharm.com

NRX Contacts:

CORPORATE CONTACT
Matthew Duffy
Chief Business Officer
mduffy@nrxpharma.com

INVESTOR RELATIONS
Suzanne Messere
Investor Relations
suzanne.messere@sternir.com

Alvogen Contacts:

Andrea Sweet
andrea.sweet@alvogen.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000823518

VERSES, DENTONS US and SPATIAL WEB FOUNDATION To Release Industry Report Titled “A Path to Global AI Governance”

Figure 1 VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VERSES AI Inc.  (CBOE CANADA:VERS) (OTCQX:VRSSF) (“VERSES” or the “Company”), a cognitive computing company specializing in the next generation of artificial intelligence (“AI”), announces the release on June 8, 2023 of an AI industry report titled “THE ROAD TO AUTONOMY: A Path To Global […]

Figure 1

The Road to Autonomy – Executive Summary

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VERSES AI Inc.  (CBOE CANADA:VERS) (OTCQX:VRSSF) (“VERSES” or the “Company”), a cognitive computing company specializing in the next generation of artificial intelligence (“AI”), announces the release on June 8, 2023 of an AI industry report titled “THE ROAD TO AUTONOMY: A Path To Global AI Governance”.

The report combines the legislative expertise from Dentons, the world’s largest multinational law firm, and the AI acumen of VERSES with the guidance on technical standards from the Spatial Web Foundation to provide an in-depth analysis of the legal and key legislative trends from across the world on the state of AI regulation and recommendations for a path forward for government regulation of AI.

The report aspires to pioneer a fresh approach for legal practitioners, government regulators, and lawmakers, to keep pace with the rapid technological advancements and to guide their adaptation. The critical aspect of the report is to promote the adoption of standards for what VERSES considers “law as code.” The objective is to encode laws and legal principles into an understandable, machine-readable language that will facilitate the comprehension and autonomous compliance of AI systems with legal frameworks and social norms.

The report analyzes the unprecedented challenges presented by the emergence of AI and autonomous software, devices, and vehicles addressing fundamental questions like, “How can governments regulate AI systems that are on a path to regulating themselves? How can humans stay in the loop to ensure AI alignment with human values, principles, and laws, while guaranteeing fair and equitable services for all individuals and communities? And, how do we encode and enforce AI laws directly in AI systems themselves?”

The report critically examines the transformative power of rapidly evolving technologies such as AI systems and their impending impact on legal, regulatory, and government sectors and accentuates the crucial need for developing and adopting standards that foster the understanding, governance, and interoperability of AI and autonomous systems. The report underscores the role of these technical standards in shaping dynamic and effective laws to regulate, oversee, and contemporize AI activities.

The goal of the report is to provide governments, regulators, and legislators with a pragmatic framework that not only informs but also provides a roadmap for policymaking, legislation, and compliance efforts in the field of AI. This is relevant to the flourishing autonomous vehicle industry, while also serving as a fundamental guide for all future AI-driven systems. Emphasizing the urgency of a globally unified, forward-thinking approach to AI governance, the report signals the vital need for standards development and deployment as the world navigates the pathway to Autonomous Intelligent Systems (“AIS”).

Significantly, the report points to the instrumental role of sociotechnical standards, as demonstrated by the work of the Institute of Electrical And Electronics Engineers IEEE P2874 Working Group. This initiative from the world’s largest association of technical professionals, underscores the importance of aligning AIS with human values and reducing the risk of harmful behavior.

The report also highlights the European Commission’s Flying Forward 2020 (“FF2020”) project for successfully implementing these standards. Led by VERSES and running on its KOSM platform, the FF2020 project featured autonomous AI-powered drones executing various tasks, such as medical supply delivery, building security inspection, and large crowd monitoring, all while adhering to local laws. The project exemplifies how the seamless integration of standards for AI with Urban Air Mobility and current legal and regulatory frameworks could improve the implementation of AI-powered services at city scale and beyond.

The report envisions the application of these standards to a host of sectors, including healthcare, education, finance, supply chain and more, paving the way for a smarter world with AI seamlessly operating behind the scenes.

AI is advancing at an unprecedented pace, raising concerns about the direction of its future trajectory. As AI evolves towards autonomous systems, the need for regulation becomes critical. We must address the challenge of regulating self-regulating AI to ensure alignment with human values and prevent potential risks. By implementing global technical standards and establishing an international AI regulatory framework, we can harness the immense benefits of AI while safeguarding against its potential perils,” stated VERSES CEO, Gabriel René.

We are thrilled to collaborate with VERSES, as the challenge of regulating machines raises the question of how to strike a balance between control and freedom for entities incapable of comprehending laws or guiding principles. The current pace of the legal system hinders effective regulation and allows unchecked development of rapidly evolving technologies like AI. A new socio-technological standards-based approach seems to be a very pragmatic and appealing way forward,” said Peter Stockberger, Partner at Dentons US.

In summary, the report calls for a safe, effective, and inclusive journey down the “Road to Autonomy,” ensuring that future AI systems are not just technically advanced but also aligned with the best interests of humanity, both now and in the future. With AI influencing every sector, this insightful report offers pragmatic recommendations for a more secure, innovative, and integrated AI-driven future. The full report will be available on the VERSES, DENTONS, and Spatialweb.org websites on or around June 8, 2023, with the executive summary already available for preview.

About VERSES

VERSES is a cognitive computing company specializing in next-generation AI. Modeled after natural systems and the design principles of the human brain and the human experience, VERSES flagship offering, GIA™, is an Intelligent Assistant for everyone powered by KOSMOS™, a network operating system enabling distributed intelligence.  Built on open standards, KOSM transforms disparate data into knowledge models that foster trustworthy collaboration between humans, machines, and AI, across digital and physical domains. Imagine a smarter world that elevates human potential through innovations inspired by nature. Learn more at VERSESLinkedIn, and Twitter.

About Dentons 
Dentons is designed to be different. As the world’s largest global law firm with 21,000 professionals in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries, Denton’s can help you grow, protect, operate and finance your business. Denton’s polycentric and purpose-driven approach, together with their commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and ESG, ensures they challenge the status quo to stay focused on what matters most to you. www.dentons.com

About the Spatial Web Foundation 
The Spatial Web Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and ethical use of technology, specifically in the creation and implementation of the Spatial Web protocol. The foundation’s core initiatives include developing open standards and protocols, promoting interoperability, and educating the public and policymakers. The foundation supports transparency and accountability in the development and use of technology, promotes responsible innovation, engages in dialogue and collaboration with various stakeholders, and adopts a proactive approach to addressing emerging ethical challenges. Ultimately, the Spatial Web Foundation seeks to create a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable internet that empowers individuals and communities to connect, create, and thrive.

On Behalf of the Company 

Gabriel René
VERSES Technologies Inc.
Co-Founder & CEO
press@verses.io

Media and Investor Relations Inquiries 

Leo Karabelas
Focus Communications
President
info@fcir.ca
416-543-3120

The NEO has not reviewed or approved this press release for the adequacy or accuracy of its contents.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1df22be2-a8db-4ce3-8217-05fbc905429f

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Zong 4G Reaffirms its Commitment to Promoting a Green and Low Carbon Pakistan on World Environment Day

Zong 4G, Pakistan’s leading telecommunications company, has showcased its unwavering dedication to environmental sustainability through various initiatives addressing climate change and promoting responsible consumption. Zong 4G’s sustainability pilla…

Zong 4G, Pakistan’s leading telecommunications company, has showcased its unwavering dedication to environmental sustainability through various initiatives addressing climate change and promoting responsible consumption. Zong 4G’s sustainability pillars are focused on three major areas:

Digital Intelligence Innovation

Social Inclusion

Green and Low-Carbon

As an organization that is focused on promoting green and low-carbon Pakistan, Zong 4G has taken significant and measurable steps toward combating climate change.

Through various plantations drives, seed distributions, promotion of recycling, reducing paper and plastic waste, creating controls to save fuel and electricity and investment in solar power, and taking effective measures to promote the use of sustainable materials within the organization, Zong 4G has ensured that it helps Pakistan towards fulfilling its UN Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs).

As the world celebrates World Environment Day, Zong 4G’s efforts stand as a shining example of corporate environmental stewardship. Below are some key projects spearheaded by Zong in the past few months:

Recognizing the importance of urban green spaces, Zong 4G embarked on a mission to create green oases in cities where they could make a significant impact.

By partnering with local authorities, non-profit organizations, and community members, Zong 4G identified suitable areas in Multan and Lahore to establish urban forests. These initiatives have contributed to environmental sustainability and enhanced the overall well-being of the communities.

Through this initiative, Zong 4G planted over 14,000 trees, fostering a greener and healthier environment for the residents of Multan and Lahore. The urban forests are expected to benefit thousands of people living in the surrounding areas.

As per the World AQI for 2022, Lahore severely affected by pollution, has the poorest ratings on the air quality, would benefit from the reduction of Carbon in the air as a result of the plantation.

Contributing to Sustainable Development Goals

Under its Green and Low Carbon focus area, Zong 4G actively contributes to two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action. Zong 4G’s work-from-home model, which continued for 2.5 years, has played a crucial role in ensuring sustainable consumption patterns.

By reducing the need for commuting, the company has effectively contributed to minimizing carbon emissions and promoting a greener work culture.

Zong 4G has recognized the urgency of climate change and has taken several initiatives toward environmental sustainability. Establishing urban forests this year showcases their commitment to environmental stewardship.

Additionally, in times of natural disasters like floods, Zong 4G has shown swift action by providing relief and donations to the affected communities, highlighting their dedication to climate action.

Women’s Day – Cloth Bags for Female Employees

Plastic bag consumption is estimated to range between 500 billion and 1 trillion bags annually, with an average usage time of a mere 12 minutes. The environmental impact of plastic bags is therefore significant. Only about 9% of plastic waste is recycled globally, leaving the majority to end up in landfills or as litter in the environment. With the goal of reducing plastic waste and addressing this alarming concern, Zong 4G took a proactive step by providing cloth bags to its female employees on Women’s Day in 2023. This not only discouraged the use of plastic within the company but also was aligned with global efforts to protect the environment and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Promoting Environmental Awareness

Zong 4G is focused on large-scale initiatives and engages its employees and the wider community in promoting environmental awareness.

The company conducted the ‘Plant a Seed’ campaign in its Customer Service Centers across five major cities, including Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. This campaign aimed to distribute 20,000 pouches, each containing four seeds, to encourage individuals to actively plant trees and nurture the environment.

The potential impact of this activity was monumental. Distributed out of the CSCs, these pouches were subsequently spread evenly through the city. The nationwide distribution of these seed pouches among Zong 4G employees demonstrates the company’s commitment to fostering a culture of environmental consciousness.

Moreover, on Women’s Day, Zong 4G took a step towards reducing plastic waste by providing cloth bags to its female employees. This initiative discouraged plastic use and aimed to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, aligning with global efforts to protect the environment.

Zong 4G’s commitment to environmental sustainability goes beyond words, as it actively collaborates with local authorities, non-profit organizations, and community members to establish urban forests and drive positive change.

By focusing on responsible consumption, climate action, and engaging employees and the wider community, Zong 4G has demonstrated its dedication to creating a greener and more sustainable future for Pakistan.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Mohammad Rizwan Gifts Copy of Holy Quran to His Teacher at Harvard

Wicket-keeper batter, Mohammad Rizwan, has been making headlines for embarking on an educational journey at the esteemed Harvard Business School in the USA.Alongside his fellow teammate, Babar Azam, the right-handed batter enrolled in the Business of …

Wicket-keeper batter, Mohammad Rizwan, has been making headlines for embarking on an educational journey at the esteemed Harvard Business School in the USA.

Alongside his fellow teammate, Babar Azam, the right-handed batter enrolled in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports (BEMS) executive education program.

During their time at Harvard in America, Rizwan, a devout Muslim and an advocate for religious propagation, presented his teacher with a copy of the Holy Quran.

A photo capturing the moment was shared on Twitter, showcasing Rizwan presenting the English translation of the holy book, which garnered widespread appreciation.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan hold the distinction of being the first cricketers from their country to enroll in the prestigious Harvard Business School.

The BEMS program at Harvard Business School has attracted renowned athletes from various disciplines in the past, such as footballers Kaka, Edwin van der Sar, and many more.

In 2021, Rizwan also presented the Holy Quran to Matthew Hayden, a former Australian opener and Pakistan’s batting consultant for the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

“It is a huge honor to represent Pakistan on such a prestigious global stage. We are going to the BEMS program at Harvard to learn from the best of the best in the world,” he said.

Source: Pro Pakistani

ECC Approves Grant of Rs. 402 Billion for Debt Servicing on Foreign Loans

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday approved a technical supplementary grant (TSG) of Rs. 402 billion in favor of the Ministry of Economic Affairs for debt servicing for foreign loans and credits.The meeting, chaired by …

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday approved a technical supplementary grant (TSG) of Rs. 402 billion in favor of the Ministry of Economic Affairs for debt servicing for foreign loans and credits.

The meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, also approved a number of other supplementary and technical supplementary grants. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Pasha, and Federal Secretaries.

Other grants approved by the committee include Rs. 839.129 million as TSG in favor of the project titled “New Gwadar International Airport (NIGA)” of the Ministry of Aviation. Rs. 120.450 million TSG in favor of the Establishment Division for FY23 to meet the shortfall of ERE and Non-ERE components. Rs. 140. 584 million as TSG in favor of the Establishment Division for payment to government departments for services rendered from various sources.

Further, a Rs. 116.499 million TSG was approved in favor of the Ministry of Human Rights for meeting the shortfall in essential expenditures in different organizations working under the ministry. Rs. 700 million as TSG in favor of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to meet the shortfall during FY23. Rs. 48 million TSG in favor of the Ministry of Interior for release of funds to HQ Frontier Corps (North) KP, for construction of FATA Levies Centre at Shakas, Peshawar.

The committee also approved Rs. 470.827 million as TSG in favor of the Ministry of Interior for the payment of troops cost/subsistence allowance to personnel of Civil Armed Forces deployed in UN Peacekeeping Missions.

The meeting considered and approved a summary of the Ministry of Interior for the release of funds of Rs. 66.336 million as TSG for the construction of Frontier Constabulary Training Center, Michni, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The funds have been granted in aid to Pakistan by the US for capacity building of Civil Armed forces.

The committee also approved Rs. 347.99 million as TSG in favor of the Ministry of Interior to complete the raising process of the 6th Battalion of Pakistan Cost Guards for anti-smuggling purposes. Rs. 1,251 million as TSG in favor of the Ministry of Interior for the FATA Temporary Displaced Persons Emergency Recovery Project (TDP-ERP) of NADRA to serve the vulnerable families, affected by military operations.

The meeting approved Rs. 49.5 million as TSG in favor of the Ministry of Interior for further disbursement of the amount as financial assistance for the families of Shuhada and injured persons in Swat terrorism incident.

Rs. 9,145 million as TSG in favor of Power Division for the execution of 2×660 MW Coal-fired Power project Jamshoro. Rs. 48.429 million TSG in favor of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to meet the ERE shortfall. Rs. 1422.394 million as TSG in favor of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission to meet ERE shortfall.

Rs. 110.653 million as TSG in favor of the National Counter Terrorism Authority to strengthen NACTA within its current mandate and Rs. 5,252 as TSG million in favor of the Ministry of Defence for meeting ERE shortfall.

Source: Pro Pakistani

PM ‘Very Hopeful’ of Finalizing Deal With IMF in June

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed hope that a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be finalized during the ongoing month.“We are still very hopeful that the IMF program will materialize. Our ninth review by the IMF will match …

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed hope that a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be finalized during the ongoing month.

“We are still very hopeful that the IMF program will materialize. Our ninth review by the IMF will match all terms and conditions and, hopefully, we’ll have some good news this month,” the premier said in an interview with Turkish News Agency Anadolu.

The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan has met all conditionalities set by the IMF. “I repeat, each and every requirement of the IMF as prior actions have been met,” the premier said.

He said that some of the actions are usually met after the approval of the board but this time the lender required that those actions should also be met before the board’s approval and the country has met them as well.

Asked about contingency plans in case the talks with IMF fail, the prime minister emphasized the “resilience and fortitude” of the Pakistani nation. He said the people of Pakistan have faced challenges in the past, and if needed, will “tighten our belt” and rise again.

The country has been negotiating with the IMF since early February for the release of $1.1 billion, part of a $6.5 billion bailout package inked by the previous government in 2019. However, despite the passage of almost four months since the last staff-level mission to Pakistan, the staff-level agreement has still not been signed.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Federal Govt Allocates Generous Grants for Development Projects in Islamabad

The federal government has included several proposals to allocate grants for various projects in Islamabad in the upcoming budget.One of the key proposals is to allocate a grant of Rs. 696.3 million for a jail in Islamabad. Additionally, the budget in…

The federal government has included several proposals to allocate grants for various projects in Islamabad in the upcoming budget.

One of the key proposals is to allocate a grant of Rs. 696.3 million for a jail in Islamabad. Additionally, the budget includes a significant grant proposal of Rs. 1.40 billion for the National Police Hospital.

Recognizing the increasing challenges posed by cybercrime, the budget proposes a grant of Rs. 300 million to modernize the FIA Cybercrime Wing.

Furthermore, it has been decided to establish the headquarters of NACTA in Islamabad. To facilitate the establishment of the NACTA headquarters, a proposal has been made to allocate Rs. 100 million for the purchase of land and building.

In an effort to enhance governance and improve land management, a grant proposal of Rs. 10 million has been put forward for the computerization of land records in rural areas.

The federal budget also highlights the importance of providing security and other benefits to foreigners residing in Islamabad. A proposal to allocate Rs. 100 million has been made to ensure the safety and well-being of foreign residents.

Another significant decision is the construction of the FIA Academy, Training, and Hostel in Zone-IV of Islamabad. Moreover, the budget proposes an initial allocation of Rs. 80 million for land acquisition.

In line with efforts to enhance surveillance and security measures, a proposal has been made to allocate Rs. 112.7 million for the deployment of smart cars for surveillance purposes.

Lastly, the budget proposes a grant of Rs. 300 million for the second phase of the Integrated Border Management System (IBMS).

Source: Pro Pakistani