Giambattista Valli dazzles Barcelona during the Bridal Night

BARCELONA, Spain, April 19, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The most exclusive fashion show of the Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week charmed over 450 guests last night who enjoyed a unique show in the historic building of the Llotja de Mar. The Maison Giambattista Valli exclusively celebrated the runway debut of its bridal collection during the Bridal Night, the gala evening of the event organized by Fira de Barcelona with the support of the Catalan Ministry of Business and Labor.

In an extraordinary show, Giambattista Valli’s 30 creations shone with their own light. It was a culmination of silhouettes, representing a comprehensive exhibition of Mr. Valli’s concept of contemporary bridal dressing, inviting his audience to witness the manifestation of his vision, translated into a presentation that embodies the essence of individuality, sharing a dream and a celebration and love.

The fashion show featured ten dresses from the third “Love Collection,” ten iconic silhouettes from the first and second “Love Collections” and ten Haute Couture creations, inspiring the magnificence and the savoir-faire of the Ateliers, stepping away from classic wedding rituals and focusing on the significance of the emotions of the “moment” and the joys of celebrations. Infused with the Maison’s idyllic aesthetic and excellence, Valli’s dresses stood out with a contemporary edge, whether through clean lines, unforgettable volumes or unexpected details inspired by the personalities of an imaginary new group – Mr. Valli’s friends. This blend of classic and modern appeals to many brides worldwide looking for a unique wedding gown, in pure Valli style and tied to their own personal storytelling.

The prestigious designer was delighted after the show and said that, “I chose Barcelona and Bridal Fashion Week for the debut of my Love Collection 3 because it is an event that attracts a diverse audience of fashion enthusiasts, designers, buyers and media from all over the world, and provides me with maximum global visibility and opportunities for success.” He added, “In addition, Barcelona’s romantic and cosmopolitan atmosphere matches perfectly with the theme of my collection, which celebrates love and romance.”

The Barcelona Bridal Night had a luxurious audience and front row, including it-girl, model and international fashion icon Olivia Palermo, model and countess Lara Cosima Henckel von Donnersmarck, stylist and designer Pelayo Diaz, actress Hiba Abouk, actress and model Blanca Romero, model Marco Llorente, and TV hostess and actress Marta Torné, among other personalities.

Images available here.

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Vaccinologists Keith Klugman and Shabir Madhi Awarded Sabin’s Prestigious Gold Medal; Infectious Diseases Epidemiologist Nicole Basta Receives Rising Star Award

2024 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal and 2024 Sabin Rising Star Award Presentations
Dr. Keith Klugman (left) and Dr. Shabir Madhi (right) were presented the 2024 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal and Prof. Nicole Basta (center) received the 2024 Sabin Rising Star Award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sabin Vaccine Institute yesterday presented the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal to physician-researchers Keith Paul Klugman and Shabir Ahmed Madhi, and its Rising Star award to infectious diseases epidemiologist Nicole Elaine Basta at a ceremony in the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington D.C.

Klugman and Madhi received the Sabin Gold Medal, one of the highest recognitions for vaccinologists globally, for their seminal combined contributions to the development of vaccines against pneumonia and diarrheal disease – major causes of death in children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Klugman first met his then-graduate student Madhi at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (also known as Wits University), where Klugman established, and Madhi expanded, a now globally renowned infectious diseases research institute. Apart from pneumonia, their work focused on maternal and children’s vaccines including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), typhoid, and Group B streptococcus (GBS).

The evidence produced by these two awardees has and continues to inform the World Health Organization’s recommendations for vaccines. Klugman and Madhi’s research has helped pave the way for the introduction of lifesaving vaccines in public immunization programs – including the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine where their findings were pivotal in influencing vaccination policy in many LMICs.

“I am honored to award the Sabin Gold Medal to Dr. Klugman and Dr. Madhi for their extraordinary work on vaccines that have saved lives in communities most in need of these interventions,” says Amy Finan, Sabin’s chief executive officer. “Their pneumonia research has been particularly transformative in shaping our understanding of the disease and strengthening global health strategies to protect children from this vaccine-preventable disease.”

Fueled by an early interest in science as a child in South Africa — in part due to a physician father – Klugman holds both a medical as well as a science doctorate degree from Wits University and was the first student in the school’s history to obtain them simultaneously. He began his research career nearly five decades ago investigating the typhoid vaccine and has since distinguished himself as a formidable infectious diseases’ scientist. Klugman is widely known for his work on pneumonia, which still kills a child under five every 43 seconds, many in the world’s poorest countries. As the director of the pneumonia program at the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Klugman orchestrates strategic initiatives aimed at reducing deaths from pneumonia, RSV, neonatal sepsis, and meningitis. He has authored hundreds of publications that have been cited over 50,000 times to date and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine in the United States. Klugman is also a professor emeritus of global health at Atlanta’s Emory University.

His scientific achievements aside, Klugman has long championed the need for the world’s poorest children to have equitable access to vaccines. While in South Africa he joined in Wits University’s struggle to allow access to the institution for all students.

“It is absolutely wonderful to be receiving this award, especially together with Shabir,” he says. “When I look down the list of previous awardees, I recognize the great majority of them, and it is extraordinary to now be numbered among them.”

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Madhi, also from South Africa, is a trained pediatrician whose research continues to be instrumental in prioritizing the rollout of vital vaccines and guiding global public health policies. At Wits University, he led clinical trials focused on respiratory and meningeal pathogens, including vaccines targeted at pregnant women and their unborn babies. Madhi led the first study showing that a rotavirus vaccine could significantly prevent severe diarrhea during the first year of life in African infants. That research served as a key piece of evidence for the WHO’s recommendation of universal rotavirus vaccination. In addition, he also led the first two COVID-19 vaccine trials in Africa, and a number of COVID-19 epidemiology studies which led to the first evidence suggesting that infection-induced immunity and vaccinations played a role in reducing severity of disease.

Madhi heads South Africa’s widely respected South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (Wits VIDA) and is a professor of vaccinology at Wits. He too has co-authored hundreds of publications which have been cited over 59,000 times. Madhi is a recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards in South Africa, as well being bestowed an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) from the British Government for his services to science and public health in a global pandemic.

“It is really humbling for me to be acknowledged for my contributions in the field of vaccinology along with those who have received the Gold Medal award,” says Madhi. “It makes me realize that the work my team and I have done is acknowledged by my peers as being of substance. Most significantly, we contributed to protecting lives in those settings where a majority of death and suffering occurs, and that is in LMICs.”

Sabin’s 2024 Rising Star Nicole Basta, an associate professor at Canada’s McGill University and Canada Research Chair in Infectious Disease Prevention, has led numerous studies to evaluate the impact of vaccines and vaccination programs for a number of globally challenging viral and bacterial diseases, including COVID-19, meningococcal disease, influenza, and HPV.

Inspired by her parents’ emphasis on the importance of education, Basta is a first-generation college graduate who earned an undergraduate degree at Princeton University and graduate degrees at the University of Cambridge and the University of Washington. She has distinguished herself as a prolific researcher with a focus on assessing the impact of vaccination programs and increasing vaccine awareness, acceptance, and uptake. She designed and led studies to evaluate the impact of the meningococcal A vaccine MenAfriVac in Mali and the meningococcal B vaccine Bexsero in the US, both of which contributed to better understanding about how to best implement vaccination programs. In 2020, she and a colleague developed an interactive online COVID-19 vaccine tracker, providing real-time updates to millions of users around the world on the pandemic vaccine development progress.

“Prof. Basta’s impactful and policy-shaping epidemiological research benefits from her ability to make it accessible and useful to the global health community. The COVID-19 vaccine tool is one such instance,” says Finan. “Those achievements alone would make her deserving of the Rising Star but there’s more: she also demonstrates a deep commitment to mentoring the next generation of public health researchers through her research group which is exactly the kind of emerging leader we need.”

Once an infectious diseases outbreak investigator with the Florida Department of Health, Basta has first-hand knowledge that scientific research needs to be understood and adopted beyond the confines of academia. She works with policy makers and public health agencies and organizations to translate research findings into actionable strategies for disease prevention and control.

“It’s truly an honor to receive the 2024 Rising Star Award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute, especially since I am deeply committed to ensuring that we have the evidence we need to demonstrate the importance of vaccination and increase access and uptake,” says Basta. “This recognition is also a testament to the outstanding collaborators and trainees I have had the privilege to work with and it motivates us to continue to make a difference in the years ahead.”

The Gold Medal is Sabin’s highest scientific honor. It has been given annually for more than three decades to a distinguished member of the global health community who has made exceptional contributions to vaccinology or a complementary field. Past award recipients include leaders of vaccinology and vaccine advocacy such as Drs. Barney Graham, Carol Baker, Bill Foege, Anne Gershon, Stanley Plotkin, and Kathrin Jansen.

Sabin’s Rising Star award was created in 2020 to encourage and recognize the next generation of vaccine and immunization leaders.

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 and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

Media Contact:
Monika Guttman
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Sabin Vaccine Institute
+1 (202) 662-1841

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Révélation du thème de la 8e édition de la conférence Future Investment Initiative : « Horizons infinis : investir aujourd’hui pour façonner l’avenir »

fii8 concept theme

RIYAD, Arabie saoudite, 19 avr. 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Le Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute se réjouit de dévoiler le thème de la 8e édition de sa conférence FII, prévue du 29 au 31 octobre 2024 au prestigieux Centre de conférences international du Roi Abdulaziz, dans la capitale saoudienne.

Organisée auteur du thème prometteur : « Horizons infinis : investir aujourd’hui pour façonner l’avenir », la FII 8e édition fera naître des débats sur la manière dont l’investissement peut servir d’incubateur vers un avenir prospère et durable, en repoussant les limites du possible pour le genre humain.

Rassemblant des leaders mondiaux, des entrepreneurs, des dirigeants politiques, des médias, mais aussi des décideurs dans les domaines de la finance, de l’IA, du développement durable, de l’énergie, de la géoéconomie, de l’industrie spatiale, et bien d’autres encore, la FII 8e édition promet d’être un creuset d’idées innovantes. En exploitant le thème des « Horizons infinis », la conférence 2024 entend inciter les participants à transcender les limites conventionnelles de la pensée et à explorer des opportunités d’investissement qui peuvent rapprocher les enjeux actuels des possibilités futures.

Richard Attias, PDG et membre du Conseil d’administration du FII Institute, a souligné l’importance de ce thème : « Horizons infinis est bien plus qu’un thème. C’est un vibrant appel à élargir notre vision collective et à embrasser les perspectives illimitées de l’avenir. Il représente notre engagement à susciter des débats menant vers un avenir où l’investissement ne connaît pas de limites et contribue à un meilleur avenir pour tous ».

Organisée par le Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute, une organisation fondée par le PIF (Public Investment Fund), la conférence FII fera peau neuve à l’occasion de sa 8e édition, pour une semaine exclusivement réservée aux membres du FII Institute, aux délégués invités et aux partenaires stratégiques. Lors de la conférence, les discussions seront axées sur les données, afin de garantir que les idées sont fondées sur des faits et des stratégies exploitables.

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Téléphone : +966 53 978 2030

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Le Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute est une organisation à but non lucratif d’envergure mondiale dont la vocation est d’avoir un impact sur l’humanité. Par le biais de notre pôle d’investissement, nous encourageons l’innovation dans l’intelligence artificielle (ou IA) et la robotique, l’éducation, les soins de santé et le développement durable, afin de transformer les idées en solutions concrètes.

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Apresentando o tema do 8º Fórum do Future Investment Initiative: “Horizontes Infinitos: Investindo Hoje, Moldando o Amanhã”

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RIYADH, Arábia Saudita, April 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — O Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute tem o prazer de anunciar o tema para a próxima 8ª edição da conferência FII, marcada para 29 a 31 de outubro de 2024, no renomado Centro Internacional de Conferências Rei Abdulaziz (KAICC) em Riyadh, Arábia Saudita.

Com o instigante tema “Horizontes Infinitos: investindo hoje, moldando o amanhã”, a FII8 promoverá debates sobre como o investimento pode ser um catalisador para um futuro próspero e sustentável, ampliando os limites do que é possível para a humanidade.

A FII8 promete ser um caldeirão de ideias inovadoras, reunindo líderes globais, empreendedores, políticos, profissionais da mídia e tomadores de decisão em áreas como finanças, inteligência artificial, sustentabilidade, energia, geoeconomia, e até mesmo exploração espacial. Com o tema “Horizontes Infinitos”, a conferência deste ano desafiará os participantes a pensarem além dos limites convencionais e explorarem oportunidades de investimento que possam transcender os desafios atuais e abrir caminho para possibilidades futuras.

Richard Attias, CEO e membro do conselho do FII Institute, destacou a importância desse tema, afirmando que “Horizontes Infinitos não é apenas um lema; é um chamado claro para expandir nossa visão coletiva e abraçar as perspectivas ilimitadas do futuro. Isso representa nosso compromisso de promover conversas que levem a um futuro em que o investimento não tenha limites e contribua para um futuro melhor para todos.”

A FII8, organizada pelo FII Institute, estabelecida pelo PIF, trará um formato inovador como uma semana exclusiva para membros do FII Institute, delegados convidados e parceiros estratégicos. As discussões durante a conferência serão baseadas em dados, assegurando que as visões sejam fundamentadas em fatos e estratégias exequíveis.

Para comunicação social, entre em contato com:

Telefone: +966 53 978 2030


O Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute é uma fundação global sem fins lucrativos dedicada a impactar a humanidade. Através do nosso braço de investimento, promovemos a inovação em Inteligência Artificial (IA) e Robótica, Educação, Saúde e Sustentabilidade, transformando ideias em soluções do mundo real.

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Your guide to vote using three ballot papers

With South Africa holding its seventh democratic elections in less than six weeks, voters will for the first time receive three ballot papers instead of two ballots.

The Electoral Commission (IEC) has urged voters to carefully review and mark each of these three ballot papers before depositing them into the ballot box.

‘Our appeal to voters is to remember that they can only put one mark on each ballot, more than one mark will result in a spoiled vote and not counted.

‘The Universal Ballot Template (UBT), whose dimensions are benchmarked against the longest ballot paper, is in production and will be available in all voting stations. The UBT can be used by blind and partially sighted people, low-vision users, people who are dyslexic, and people with motor and neuron conditions which do not allow for a steady hand,’ IEC Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sy Mamabolo said on Tuesday in Centurion.

South Africans will go to the polls on 29 May 2024 to vote for leaders of the seventh administration.

Following the a
mendment of the Electoral Act, which was signed into law in April 2023, the 27.79 million registered voters will receive three ballot papers to elect candidates to represent them in the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures.

‘This amendment revised the electoral system to allow independent candidates to contest in the regional (province-to-national) tier of the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures.

‘Although the phenomenon of three ballots will be familiar to voters in various local municipalities, it will be new to voters in metropolitan areas and for the first time in general elections for national and provinces,’ Mamabolo said.

The three ballot papers are as follows:

The National Ballot: this ballot will consist of a list of political parties vying for 200 seats in the National Assembly. This ballot will be used to vote for political parties. There are currently 52 parties who will be on this ballot and the configuration will be a dual column.

The Regional or Province-to-National
Ballots: it will have political parties and independents candidates contesting for the seats reserved for each province in the National Assembly. Voters will use this ballot to elect a political party or an independent candidate to represent them in the National Assembly. The number of contestants range from 30 to 44 on regional ballots. The configuration of this ballot is a single column.

The Provincial Ballots: this ballot is unique to each province and includes parties and independent candidates competing for seats in each respective provincial legislature. This ballot will allow voters to choose either a political party or an independent candidate to represent them in provincial legislatures. The number of contestants range from 24 to 45 on the provincial legislature ballots.

The Commission has decided that the design of the ballot papers will be underpinned by the following identifiers:

Full registered name of the party.

The photograph of the registered party leader.

Registered abbreviated name of t
he party.

The registered emblem or symbol of the party.

In respect of independent candidate, the ballot papers will have:

The name of the independent;

The photograph bearing the face of the independent and


There are a total of 400 contested seats in the National Assembly. The proportional representation compensatory 200 seats will be contested by political parties only and there is a dedicated ballot paper for this tier of the National Assembly.

‘The remaining regional or province-to-national 200 seats will be contested by independent candidates and political parties. This tier of the National Assembly will also have a dedicated ballot paper. This means that National Assembly elections will be based on two ballot papers (national ballot and the newly introduced regional or province-to-national ballot).

‘Therefore, in respect of the elections of the National Assembly voters may elect a preferred party on the national ballot and elect another preferred party or independent on the
regional ballot.

‘However, in respect of provincial elections, voters will elect a preferred party or independent candidate on a single provincial ballot,’ the CEO said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SA supports efforts for consolidating peace in South Sudan

The South African government will continue to support the government and people of South Sudan as their country works towards ‘consolidating peace, democracy and development’.

This according to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, who was delivering remarks on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa during his working visit to the Northeast African country.

‘We are here to express our support to the leadership and people of South Sudan on the ongoing efforts to consolidate peace, democracy and development, at this critical moment of the country’s history,’ Pandor said.

The Minister commended South Sudan on the ‘historic’ Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) which was signed in 2018 – bringing an end to conflict in that country which ‘almost derailed the prospects of building a stable, peaceful and prosperous country’.

‘It has been five years since this peace agreement was signed. We are encouraged by the progress achiev
ed thus far. The ceasefire agreement is holding and threats to the country’s peace and stability have been reduced. We believe that with the ongoing work in the establishment of the unified security forces for the country, the security situation will further improve.

‘We are encouraged that the parties remain committed to the Revitalised Agreement as the most viable vehicle to address the root causes of the conflict and building sustainable peace in South Sudan,’ Pandor said.

Upcoming elections

South Sudan is expected to hold national elections following a transitional period.

Ahead of this, the country’s National Elections Commission, Political Parties Council and the National Constitution Review Commission have been reconstituted.

Pandor said the elections will be a key moment for South Sudan.

‘The people of South Sudan are eagerly waiting for the general elections which will bring the end of the transitional period. These elections will be a watershed moment in the country’s transition to democracy.

I understand that parties are engaged in a dialogue in order to agree on the necessary conditions for the holding of credible elections. This will require addressing the outstanding provisions of the Revitalised Agreement such as the adoption of the permanent constitution and the security arrangements.

‘Lasting peace, stability and development will depend on how the collective leadership navigate the challenging times ahead. The Revitalised Agreement is a very comprehensive commitment on how to take the country forward and the Parties to it must be applauded. Progress in the implementation of the provisions of the R-ARCSS is laudable. However, more work is still outstanding,’ she said.

The Minister added that South Africa offers its support for the country.

‘[We] are hopeful that the parties will continue to dialogue and find consensus on outstanding issues of the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement so that the people of South Sudan can look forward to a peaceful and democratic end to the transitio
nal period.

‘On behalf of my government and people of South Africa, we reiterate our commitment to support the South Sudanese as they go through the transitional period.

‘We will provide every support possible within our means to ensure a democratic and peaceful end to the transitional period,’ Pandor concluded.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Government welcomes softening inflation

Government has welcomed the marginal dip of consumer price inflation from 5.6% in February to 5.3% in March as it views this as a positive sign and encouraging.

According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the rate has held its ground between 5% and 6% since September 2023.

‘The main contributors to the 5.3% annual inflation rate are housing and utilities, miscellaneous goods and services, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and transport,’ the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said on Thursday in a statement.

The categories with the highest annual price changes in March were miscellaneous goods and services (up 8.5%), education (up 6.3%), health (up 6.0%) and housing and utilities (up 5.9%).

‘To note, food inflation is at a three and a half year low, with bread and cereals registering a softer annual print of 5.0%, with bread flour, pasta, rusks, maize meal, ready-mix flour and white bread being cheaper than a year ago, which will benefit households,’ the GCIS said.

Source: Sout
h African Government News Agency

Sunny Northern Cape shines in renewable energy space

Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says the Northern Cape – with its high sun exposure and wind energy potential – has the potential to be a central part of South Africa’s renewable energy complex.

Ramokgopa was speaking during an event to mark the reaching of commercial operation of the Scatec ASA-owned 540MW solar and battery energy storage facility based at Kenhardt in that province.

The project, totalling 540 MW solar and 225 MW/1 140 MWh battery storage, is one of the world’s largest hybrid solar and battery storage facilities. The project was awarded by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy under the technology agnostic Risk Mitigation IPP procurement programme (RMIPPP).

The project has a total capex of approximately US $1 billion and marks the largest commitment in Scatec’s history. The power will be sold under a 20-year PPA with Eskom. Scatec holds 51% of the equity and H1 Holdings, the local Black Economic Empowerment partner, holds 49%.

Ramokgopa said
construction of renewable energy facilities in the province should translate into ‘meaningful impact’ on long term job creation.

‘[The] jobs and the opportunities that we are creating are transitional. At the height of construction [Scatec ASA] created 2000 plus jobs and it’s the nature of this development that once it gets to be operational, the jobs numbers taper down.

‘But the people still remain here and they are still searching for opportunities so it’s important that we are able to have a new conversation and this is not about Scatec, this is about how we see the Northern Cape as a major player in the renewable energy complex,’ he said.

He further emphasised that provincial and national government is discussing how investments into the province can also have a meaningful, long term impact through localisation and the creation of industry.

‘It’s important that opportunities get to be domesticated here and part of that conversation…is to see how best we can translate the Northern Cape as the renewable
energy complex of the country and on the back of that, create new industries.

‘When you have 60% of close to R260 billion of investment sunk in this province, you have to see the difference even before you are told that it accounts for that.

‘So part of the conversation…is to ensure that you domesticate these investments [and] that the opportunities that comes about… the centre of these investments must be centred in the Northern Cape,’ he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency