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Delimitation may be flawed: Veritas – Newsday

ZEC

LEGAL think-tank Veritas has warned that the upcoming delimitation exercise may be flawed due to inadequate time between the 2022 census and the delimitation to effectively implement the process.

Delimitation of constituencies, the redrawing of electoral boundaries, is provided for under sections 160 and 161 of the Constitution and section 37A of the Electoral Act. 

Veritas said time for the delimitation exercise was short, with four months left before the January 28, 2023 deadline when the final delimitation report should be published.

In its latest Bill Watch on delimitation, Veritas said: “Obviously these are vital preliminary steps to delimitation, because Zec (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) cannot fix electoral boundaries without knowing how many voters there are and where they live. But they are only preliminary steps, and the actual delimiting of boundaries is yet to begin because, we understand, Zec is waiting for ZimStat to publish the final 2022 census report.”

“Of that period, two months, or at the very least six weeks will be taken up preparing the preliminary report, getting it to the President and Parliament, considering issues raised by them and then publishing the final report. That leaves only about two months for the delimitation of boundaries.”

So far Zec has conducted voter registration campaigns, and has set about cleaning up the voters roll, publishing enormous notices in the Gazette to notify the public of corrections it proposes to make to the roll.

Veritas said the new roll had not been published in terms of section 21 of the Electoral Act, and yet there were only two months left for Zec to delimit constituency boundaries and wards before the 2023 polls.

“A thorough delimitation, with commissioners going round the country looking at the situation on the ground and consulting voters and interested parties, takes more than four months — the chairperson of an earlier delimitation commission expressed the view that it would take at least six months, probably more, to do the job properly,” Veritas said.

The legal think-tank further noted that the exercise should be completed by January 28, 2023; six months before the general election, and just over four months from now.”

Independent election watchdog, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network said: “In light of the forthcoming delimitation process, there is need for Zec and other electoral stakeholders to embark on intensive voter education programmes, particularly focusing on delimitation.”

The last delimitation exercise was conducted in 2008. At that time there were complaints that constituency boundaries had been manipulated. 

The Constitution says delimitation must be conducted every 10 years or as soon as possible after a population census.

Section 161(2) further states that if a general election is held less than six months after a delimitation, the old constituency and ward boundaries must be used for the election.

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Who is Samantha Cristoforetti, the first European female commander of the ISS? – Euronews

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is about to officially become the first European woman to command the International Space Station (ISS).

Cristoforetti, 45, takes over from Oleg Artemyev on Wednesday, becoming the fifth European commander of the ISS after Frank De Winne, Alexander Gerst, Luca Parmitano and Thomas Pesquet.

Her tasks will be to maintain communication with the teams on Earth and to coordinate the crew’s response in the event of an emergency. She will also be responsible for the performance and wellbeing of the astronauts in orbit, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

“I am humbled by my appointment to the position of commander, and look forward to drawing on the experience I’ve gained in space and on Earth to lead a very capable team in orbit,” Cristoforetti said in a statement earlier this month.

During the traditional handover ceremony, which will be broadcast live from the ISS at 3.35 pm CET, Cristoforetti will symbolically receive a key from the previous commander, Russian cosmonaut Artemyev.

Setting records

Born in Milan in 1977, Cristoforetti studied mechanical engineering and then joined the Italian Air Force as a pilot before becoming captain.

She was selected by the European Space Agency in 2009 to become Italy’s first female astronaut.

By 2015, she had set a record by spending 200 days on a single mission in space, at the time the longest continuous space flight by a woman.

Since that time, the ISS has become “busier,” in her words.

“There are so many more experiments. There is so much more equipment. […] I think that the Space Station programme and all the international partners, including ESA, have really stepped up their game in terms of the sheer quantity and variety of activities that are on the Space Station,” she said in aninterview with the Financial Times in June.

Throughout her ESA mission known as Minerva, Cristoforetti has already carried out extensive scientific research, living and working in microgravity 400 km above Earth.

ESA describes the ISS as a “stepping stone for future exploration”.

“Lessons learnt from our time on board have fed into technology that will take European explorers to the Moon and potentially even farther in the not-too-distant future,” the agency explains in a presentation of Minerva.

An inspiration for younger generations

On top of her prominent scientific activities, Cristoforetti has charmed the public with her humorous educational videos on TikTok.

These cover a broad range of topics – from working out in space to looking after a spacesuit. Some snippets of her daily life have racked up over one million views.

Cristoforetti delighted pop culture fans by wearing a Star Trek uniform in space in 2015.

She is also on the list of personalities with their own Barbie. The doll was launched last year and part of the proceeds were used to set up a scholarship celebrating “Women in space”.

When not floating in microgravity on board the ISS, the polyglot (she speaks five languages: Italian, English, German, French and Russian) is also a UNICEF ambassador.

David Parker, ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, highlighted her inspirational role: “As the first European woman to fulfil the position of commander, she once again pushes forward boundaries for female representation in the space sector”.

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Hacker breaches Fast Company systems to send offensive Apple News notifications – TechCrunch

U.S. business publication Fast Company has confirmed that a hacker breached its internal systems to send offensive push notifications to Apple News users. 

In a statement, Fast Company said that a threat actor breached the company’s content management system (CMS) on Tuesday, giving them access to the publication’s Apple News account. The hacker used this access to send two “obscene and racist” push notifications to Apple News subscribers, prompting shocked users to post screenshots on Twitter. It’s not clear how many users received the notifications before they were deleted.

“The messages are vile and are not in line with the content and ethos of Fast Company,” Fast Company said. “We are investigating the situation and have shut down FastCompany.com until the situation has been resolved.”

Apple has also addressed the situation in a tweet, confirming that the website has been hacked and that it has suspended Fast Company’s Apple News account.

Fast Company added that Tuesday’s breach follows an “apparently related hack” of FastCompany.com that occurred on Sunday afternoon, which led to similar language appearing on the site’s homepage and other pages. 

“We shut down the site that afternoon and restored it about two hours later,” the company added. “Fast Company regrets that such abhorrent language appeared on our platforms and in Apple News, and we apologize to anyone who saw it before it was taken down.”

Fast Company didn’t share any details about how it was breached and the company wasn’t immediately available to answer our questions. At the time of writing, the Fast Company website loads a “404 Not Found” page.

However, before the website was taken offline, the hacker responsible for the breach, who identifies as “Thrax”, posted an article labeled as sponsored content that detailed how they were able to infiltrate the publication. The message claims that Fast Company had a “ridiculously easy” default password that was used across a number of accounts, including an administrator. This enabled the attacker to access a bunch of sensitive information, including authentication tokens, Apple News API keys, and Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) tokens, allowing the hacker to send emails using any @fastcompany.com email. 

The attacker, in a separate message to a popular hacking forum posted on Sunday, announced they were releasing a database containing 6,737 Fast Company employee records containing employees’ email addresses, password hashes for some of them, and unpublished drafts, among other information.

This same forum has been at the center of the recent Optus breach, which saw threat actors access an unspecified number of customer names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses and identity documents numbers, including driver’s license and passport numbers. So far, the hacker responsible claims to have released 10,200 records.

The Fast Company hacker, who claims to have previously breached photo-sharing website ClickASnap and a self-proclaimed free-speech social network USA Life, said they weren’t able to access customer records as they were likely stored in a separate database.

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