Zoom Named a Leader in 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Meeting Solutions

Zoom Celebrates its Sixth Consecutive Year in the Leaders Quadrant

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM), today announced that analyst firm Gartner has named Zoom a Leader in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions. This is the seventh time Zoom has appeared in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions and its sixth consecutive time as a Leader.

For the Meeting Solutions Magic Quadrant, Gartner analyzed 15 companies in the Meeting Solutions space, naming Zoom as a Leader. Zoom is the highest-scoring vendor across three use cases in this year’s Critical Capabilities for Meeting Solutions: Learning and Training, External Presentation, and Webinar.

“We are honored that Gartner has named Zoom a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions,” said Eric S. Yuan, CEO of Zoom. “Zoom simplifies and elevates communications for every business, from the single entrepreneur to the world’s largest enterprises, and we are humbled that so many organizations trust our frictionless, reliable, and secure platform. Zoom will continue to innovate our platform to meet emerging collaboration demands and further deliver customer happiness.”

To read a complimentary copy of the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions report, please visit zoom.us/gartner.

Disclaimer

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions, Mike Fasciani, Tom Eagle, Brian Doherty, Christopher Trueman, 7 October 2021 – For Magic Quadrant

Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Meeting Solutions, Tom Eagle, Mike Fasciani, Brian Doherty, Christopher Trueman, 7 October 2021 – For Critical Capabilities report.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner Peer Insights reviews constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-users based on their own experiences, and do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

Gartner and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

About Zoom
Zoom is for you. We help you express ideas, connect to others, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination. Our frictionless communications platform is the only one that started with video as its foundation, and we have set the standard for innovation ever since. That is why we are an intuitive, scalable, and secure choice for large enterprises, small businesses, and individuals alike. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Visit zoom.com and follow @zoom.

Zoom Press Relations:
Beth McLaughlin
PR Specialist
press@zoom.us

Al-Sadr’s Party Wins Most Seats in Iraqi Parliamentary Vote

The party of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was the largest vote-getter in Iraqi parliamentary elections, according to initial results released Monday.

A count based on partial results shows the Shiite Muslim cleric has won more than 70 seats in the 329-seat parliament.

Al-Sadr’s party said it won 73 seats, increasing its seat count of 54 and giving it a large influence in government formation.

Reuters news agency said former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appeared to have the next largest win among Shiite parties, according to the initial results.

Shiite groups have dominated Iraqi politics since the fall of Sunni leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Sunday’s vote was marred by a record low turnout for parliamentary elections, at just 41%, according to Iraq’s electoral commission. That is below the 44.5% recorded in 2018, the previous all-time low.

The election was held months ahead of schedule in response to youth-led protests against corruption and faltering public services. The protests brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets in late 2019 and early 2020, with demonstrators calling for reforms and new elections.

However, a police crackdown on the protests, which left nearly 600 dead, along with widespread disillusionment about Iraq’s political elite led many protesters to later call for a boycott of this year’s elections.

Sunday’s vote was held under a new law making it easier for independent and reform candidates to be elected, including by making voting districts smaller. In practice, however, powerful parties were still best able to mobilize supporters under the new rules.

The election results are expected to largely maintain the country’s traditional political blocs.

However, since no one party won a majority of seats in parliament, negotiations to choose a prime minister to run the government are expected to take weeks or even months.

Source: Voice of America

Madagascar prays for rain as UN warns of ‘climate change famine’

Some days, all Tsimamorekm Aly eats is sugary water. He’s happy if there’s a handful of rice. But with six young kids and a wife to support, he often goes without.

This is the fourth year that drought has devastated Aly’s home in southern Madagascar. Now more than one million people, or two out of five residents, of his Grand Sud region require emergency food aid in what the United Nations is calling a “climate change famine.”

“In previous years there was rain, a lot of rain. I grew sweet potatoes and I had a lot of money … I even got married because I was rich,” said Aly, 44.

“Things have changed,” he said, standing on an expanse of ochre dirt where the only green to be seen is tall, spiky cacti.

Climate change is battering the Indian Ocean island and several UN agencies have warned in the past few months of a “climate change famine” here.

“The situation in the south of the country is really worrying,” said Alice Rahmoun, a spokeswoman with the United Nations’ World Food Programme in Madagascar. “I visited several districts … and heard from families how the changing climate has driven them to hunger.”

Rainfall patterns in Madagascar are growing more erratic – they’ve been below average for nearly six years, said researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“In some villages, the last proper rain was three years ago, in others, eight years ago or even 10 years ago,” said Rahmoun. “Fields are bare, seeds do not sprout and there is no food.”

Temperatures in southern Africa are rising at double the global rate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says. Cyclones, already more frequent in Madagascar than any other African country, are likely getting stronger as the earth warms, the US government says.

Conflict has been a central cause of famine and hunger in countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, when fighting stopped people moving to find food. But Madagascar is at peace.

“Climate change strongly impacts and strongly accentuates the famine in Madagascar,” President Andry Rajoelina said while visiting the worst-affected areas earlier this month. “Madagascar is a victim of climate change.”

The country produces less than 0.01 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, the World Carbon Project says.

Half a million children are expected to be acutely malnourished in southern Madagascar, 110,000 severely so, the UN Children’s Fund says, causing developmental delays, disease and death.

Nutriset, a French company that produces emergency food Plumpy’Nut, opened a plant in southern Madagascar last week. It aims to annually produce 600 tonnes of therapeutic fortified food made of peanuts, sugar and milk for malnourished children.

The Malagasy government is also giving parcels of land to some families fleeing the worst-hit areas. Two hundred families received land with chickens and goats, which are more drought-resilient than cows. They were also encouraged to plant cassava, which is more drought-resilient than maize.

Source: Nam News Netwok

WHO Recommends COVID-19 Booster Shot for Immunocompromised

The World Health Organization is recommending that people with weakened immune systems be given a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

A panel of WHO vaccine advisers said the additional dose would help immunocompromised people because that population is less likely to respond to a standard vaccination, and they are at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

The panel, called the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), also recommended booster shots for people over age 60 who have received inoculations made by Chinese vaccine makers Sinopharm and Sinovac. It cited evidence in studies in Latin America that those vaccines do not perform as well over time.

The panel did not recommend an additional booster dose for the population at large and said it would review the issue of widespread booster use on November 11.

WHO has called for a moratorium on booster doses for the general population until the end of the year to allow more people around the world to receive a first vaccination.

New COVID pill, drug

In other developments Monday, drugmaker Merck has asked U.S. regulators to authorize its pill for treating mild to moderate COVID-19, which if approved would be the first oral medication for the disease.

Merck said its antiviral pill, called molnupiravir, lowered the rate of hospitalization and death by 50% in a trial of patients who had mild to moderate COVID-19 illness along with at least one risk factor for the disease.

Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutic have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use of the pill. All previous FDA-approved treatments require an injection or IV.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca, which developed one of the first COVID-19 vaccines, said Monday it is seeing promising results with a COVID-19 drug it is developing to combat the coronavirus.

Known as AZD7442, the drug reduced severe COVID-19 or death in non-hospitalized patients by 50%, according to AstraZeneca.

“An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease with continued protection for more than six months,” said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president at AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals R&D.

Also Monday, Swiss drugmaker Roche said it has applied to market its antibody cocktail for COVID-19 in the European Union.

The treatment co-developed with U.S. biotech firm Regeneron is a combination of monoclonal antibodies that is intended to prevent patients from getting a severe form of the disease. Called Ronapreve, the treatment was given to former U.S. President Donald Trump when he was battling COVID-19.

In New Zealand

In New Zealand, the government announced Monday that it would require teachers and health care workers to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by December 1.

Ninety-five new COVID-19 cases were reported in New Zealand this weekend, and an additional 35 were reported Monday, as the country is attempting to reopen.

Maori politicians say New Zealand could be guilty of committing “modern genocide” if it goes forward with plans to reopen the country. They are warning that the country’s Indigenous people represent more than half of the daily cases.

“At every stage of this pandemic, the government has ignored the advice of our Maori experts. They have left us out to dry,” Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, co-leader of the Maori Party, said Monday.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s data, New Zealand has 4,660 infections and 28 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Worldwide, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has recorded almost 238 million global COVID-19 infections and nearly 4.9 million deaths. The center said Monday that nearly 6.5 billion vaccines have been administered worldwide.

Source: Voice of America

More Than 130 Countries Reach Deal on Corporate Minimum Tax

More than 130 countries have agreed on sweeping changes to how big global companies are taxed, including a 15% minimum corporate rate designed to deter multinationals from stashing profits in low-tax countries.

The deal announced Friday is an attempt to address the ways globalization and digitalization have changed the world economy. It would allow countries to tax some of the earnings of companies located elsewhere that make money through online retailing, web advertising and other activities.

U.S. President Joe Biden has been one of the driving forces behind the agreement as governments around the world seek to boost revenue following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement among 136 countries representing 90% of the global economy was announced by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which hosted the talks that led to it. The OECD said that the minimum tax would reap some $150 billion for governments.

Today’s agreement represents a once-in-a-generation accomplishment for economic diplomacy,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. She said it would end a “race to the bottom” in which countries outbid each other with lower tax rates.

“Rather than competing on our ability to offer low corporate rates,” she said, “America will now compete on the skills of our workers and our capacity to innovate, which is a race we can win.”

The deal faces several hurdles before it can take effect. U.S. approval of related tax legislation proposed by Biden will be key, especially since the U.S. is home to many of the biggest multinational companies. A rejection by Congress would cast uncertainty over the entire project.

Big U.S. tech companies such as Google and Amazon have supported the OECD negotiations. One reason is that countries would agree to withdraw individual digital services taxes they have imposed on the companies in return for the right to tax part of their earnings under the global scheme.

That means the companies would deal with just the one international tax regime, not a multitude of different ones depending on the country.

“This accord opens the way to a true tax revolution for the 21st century,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. “Finally, the digital giants will pay their just share in taxes in the countries — including France — where they produce.”

On Thursday, Ireland announced that it would join the agreement, ditching a low-tax policy that has led companies such as Google and Facebook to base their European operations there.

Although the Irish agreement was a step forward for the deal, developing countries have raised objections, and Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have indicated they will not sign up.

Anti-poverty and tax fairness advocates have said the bulk of new revenue would go to wealthier countries and offer less to developing countries that are more dependent on corporate taxes. The Group of 24 developing countries said that without a bigger share of revenue from reallocated profits, the deal would be “suboptimal” and “not sustainable even in the short run.”

The deal will be taken up by the Group of 20 finance ministers next week and then by G-20 leaders for final approval at a summit in Rome at the end of October.

Countries would sign on to a diplomatic agreement to implement the tax on companies that have no physical presence in a country but earn profits there, such as through digital services. That provision would affect around 100 global firms.

The second part of the deal, the global minimum of at least 15%, would apply to companies with more than 750 million euros ($864 million) in revenue and be passed into domestic law by countries according to model rules developed at the OECD. A top-up provision would mean tax avoided overseas would have to be paid at home. So long as at least the major headquarters countries implement the minimum tax, the deal would have most of its desired effect.

Source: Voice of America

Paul McCartney: John Lennon Responsible for Beatles Breakup

Paul McCartney has revisited the breakup of The Beatles, flatly disputing the suggestion that he was responsible for the group’s demise.

Speaking on an episode of BBC Radio 4’s “This Cultural Life” that is scheduled to air on Oct. 23, McCartney said it was John Lennon who wanted to disband The Beatles.

“I didn’t instigate the split,” McCartney said. “That was our Johnny.”

The band’s fans have long debated who was responsible for the breakup, with many blaming McCartney. But McCartney said Lennon’s desire to “break loose” was the main driver behind the split.

Confusion about the breakup was allowed to fester because their manager asked the band members to keep quiet until he concluded a number of business deals, McCartney said.

The interview comes ahead of Peter Jackson’s six-hour documentary chronicling the final months of the band. “The Beatles: Get Back,” set for release in November on Disney+, is certain to revisit the breakup of the legendary band. McCartney’s comments were first reported by The Observer.

When asked by interviewer John Wilson about the decision to strike out on his own, McCartney retorted: “Stop right there. I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving The Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”

McCartney expressed sadness over the breakup, saying the group was still making “pretty good stuff.”

“This was my band, this was my job, this was my life. So, I wanted it to continue,” McCartney said.

Source: Voice of America

UN Migration Agency Condemns Killing Of Illegal Immigrants In Libyan Detention Centre

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), yesterday condemned the killing of illegal immigrants, in a detention centre in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

“IOM condemns Friday’s senseless killing and the use of live rounds, against migrants protesting the appalling conditions in detention,” IOM said in a statement.

Six were killed and at least 24 others injured at the Mabani detention centre, in Tripoli, when armed guards opened fire, following a riot and an attempted escape, IOM said.

However, the Libyan interior minister denied the six deaths, confirming that only one person was killed “accidentally, while leaving the centre.”

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants, who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

The rescued and arrested ones live in overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close the centres

Source: Nam News Netwok

Covid-19: Uganda’s education minister blocks reopening of international schools

Uganda’s Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, who is also the country’s First Lady, has rejected pleas by the Belgian ambassador to reopen international schools before the end of the year.

The envoy had made the request to the government amid concerns that international students’ academic year would be disrupted. Ambassador Rudi Veestraeten had argued that their academic year starts in September while that of Ugandan schools starts in January.

He noted that if international schools are left to reopen in January along with other local schools, the learners will have lost half a year.

“If the Ministry of Education can permit international schools to reopen, they will follow (Covid-19) guidelines just like they did last year. A number of diplomats send their children to these schools, so they are requesting the ministry to allow them to reopen before next year,” Veestraeten added.

However, Museveni rejected the request, noting that most learners in international schools are day scholars so they can easily transmit infections from schools to their parents.

“I received another letter from another ambassador other than you asking us to reopen international schools sooner than later. The problem we have been having is learners carrying the virus from schools to their parents. How shall we explain to communities if this happens?” Museveni said.

She added that it would be unfair to reopen international schools and leave out local ones, and asked their parents to continue with online teaching.

“I want you to understand and take our message to other colleagues. The government will reopen all institutions when it is safe. If we vaccinate all the teachers, non-teaching staff, and elders in the community, we shall open schools knowing we have done everything to save lives,” Museveni said.

Uganda’s Ministry of Education came under heavy criticism this year after it permitted international schools to reopen to conduct end-year exams, with the many Ugandans accusing the government of double standards.

More than 15 million learners in the country are still locked at home, with some, especially nursery and Primary One to Three pupils, spending nearly two years without stepping foot in class.

The government shut all institutions of learning in March last year, and again in June this year for the second time. The public has been putting pressure on the government to reopen schools before the year ends in vain.

President Museveni early this month cleared universities to reopen on Nov 1, while primary and secondary schools are scheduled to reopen next year.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo, said the students who sat for the 2020 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and qualified to join tertiary institutions will have to wait longer after their planned reopening in November.

There, however, has been confusion among members of the public about which category of students will report back first.

Muyingo said only First-Year students who did not complete their 2020/2021 academic year and continuing students will report back on Nov 1, while the second batch of First-Year students who have just completed their Senior Six will have to wait until those currently in First-Year class proceed to Second Year to give them room.

He said the ministry is working on the guidelines on how they will reopen and will issue dates for Senior One, Senior Five, and First-Year university students.

Source: Nam News Netwok