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Massive data leak includes the phone numbers of 13 world leaders

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New information reveals that the “Pegasus Database” leak includes the phone number of several world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron

The recent “Pegasus Database” leak included the personal mobile phone numbers of 13 world leaders. The data leak also included the details of diplomats, military chiefs and senior politicians from 34 countries.

Affected leaders include the French President, South African President and Pakistani Prime Minister.

https://twitter.com/PoliticsForAlI/status/1417595265314263041?s=20

The Israeli spyware company NSO group sells the Pegasus hacking software behind the attack.

The group originally created the software to monitor criminals and terrorist groups around the world.

NSO says that the fact these mobile numbers were included in the database doesn’t indicate the occurrence of hacking. It does however, reveal that government clients of NSO identified these targets as people of interest.

NSO insists Pegasus software is only for investigations into crime and terror

Which world leaders are affected?

An investigation by The Guardian put together the following list of targeted world leaders:

  • Rwanda targeted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019
  • Morocco targeted French President Emmanuel Macron in 2019
  • Morocco targeted World Health Organisation’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in 2019
  • United Arab Emirates targeted prime minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri in 2018 and 2019
  • Morocco targeted the prime minister of Belgium and president of the European council, Charles Michel, in 2019
  • Security forces in Morocco targeted their own King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2019
  • Security forces in Morocco also targeted their own prime minister Saadeddine Othmani in 2018 and 2019
  • India targeted prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in 2019
  • An unknown Mexican client targeted former president of Mexico Felipe Calderón in 2016 and 2017 when his wife was running for the top job
  • Morocco targeted American diplomat Robert Malley in 2019. Malley was a chief negotiator on the US-Iran deal

Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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Tech

Historic SpaceX “amateur” flight successfully returns to earth

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The Four amateur astronauts who orbited in a Space-X capsule for three days have touched down back on Earth

The crew onboard are the first private, all-civilian team ever to go to space.

The Inspiration4 crew left on a SpaceX capsule known as Crew Dragon, from Florida on Wednesday, and landed off the state’s coast after 7 PM local time on Saturday.

The reentry process back to earth involved the Crew Dragon spacecraft diving back into the Earth’s thick atmosphere. That process heats the exterior of the spacecraft up to 3,5000 degrees fahrenheit.

What makes the mission different:

Though the team onboard are not the first tourists to travel to orbit, their mission, called Inspiration4, what makes the mission so notable is that it did not involve a stay at the International Space Station under the tutelage of professional astronauts, as previous missions involving space tourists have.

Instead, the four spaceflight novices have spent the past two days free-flying aboard their 13-foot-wide capsule on their own at about a 563 kilometre altitude — 160 kilometres higher than where the space station is, and higher than any human has flown to in decades.

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Climate

Air New Zealand examining the future of greener, cleaner flying

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New Zealand’s national carrier is looking to the future of eco-friendly flying

Air New Zealand says it is right now examining how it can add low-carbon technologies like electric, hybrid or hydrogen powered planes to dramatically reduce emissions from shorter and regional flights as soon as 2030.

The New Zealand-based airline confirmed that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to research the impact that hydrogen planes would have on the Air New Zealand network, as well as operations and infrastructure.

Airbus has stated that it is hoping to develop a hydrogen plane by 2035

That goal from the plane maker has industry officials and analysts ambitious for the future.

The agreement between the European based aircraft manufacturer and Air New Zealand brings both companies a step closer to developing a cleaner travel future.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran stated that it’ll allow the airline to see “low carbon solutions in place for our shorter domestic and regional flights in the next decade,”

Airbus could be the eco-friendly travel game changer

The company has already struck similar hydrogen study deals with easyJet and SAS airlines in Europe as carriers around the world look to meet ambitious emissions targets in line with government commitments.

Aviation accounts for around 2.5% of global carbon emissions.

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Tech

An artistic triumph: Canva’s value soars three-fold

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From Instagram posts to water bottles, the design network that can turn anyone into an artist is now worth fortunes.

Canva, the online design platform now worth billions

The value of design platform Canva has increased almost three-fold, with the once $15 billion company now worth $40 billion USD.

It comes after a funding round led by T.Rowe Price helped raise 200 million dollars for the company.

AirTree adventures, Blackbird and Dragoneer Investments were among the new and pre-existing investment companies that contributed to the deal.

It’s a win for the Australian tech scene, painting Canva as one of the most valuable software companies online.

The graphic design platform enables anyone to be a star designer, no matter the level of experience.

From videos to t-shirts, Canva offers a range of templates across their easy-to-use platform, providing a convenient and easy experience for the user.

A step into the future of design

Co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins says the goal of her platform is to replace PDF documents.

“Rather than people sending PDFs backwards and forwards between the designer and the client, designers can just create a template for organisation use,” Perkins says.

“It’s less important for us to absolutely excel at things like vector design because there are amazing programs on the market that may be there.”

“We really want to focus on that collaboration piece.”

How will the funding help?

The extra cash will be splashed on hiring two thousand workers, doubling their existing team where 42 percent of their workforce are women.

The extra funding also means the company is able to fulfill their dreams of further growing their business.

Web design, video editing and offline mode are all other features the platform is hoping to offer their growing user base, which is something the extra money can help them launch.

Perkins says it’s the funding from the investors that helps the platform remain to an extent free.

“We intentionally make our free product extremely generous for a number of reasons,”

“It means that people are able to love the product, share it with their friends and family, and promote it on social media, and then that virality really rapidly fuels our growth.”

Today, Canva has over 60 million users across 190 countries.

A number of big-name companies also use the platform, paying for their premium enterprise service.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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