Ukraine’s Zelensky ‘breaks record’ for world’s longest press conference

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses an assembly of journalists during his day-long media marathon at a food court in Kiev. (AFP)
Updated 10 October 2019

Ukraine’s Zelensky ‘breaks record’ for world’s longest press conference

  • Hundreds of local and international journalists joined Zelensky around a table to pose questions in shifts
  • The president held forth on subjects such as the war in eastern Ukraine, relations with Russia and his phone call with US President Donald Trump that has led to a Washington impeachment probe

KIEV: Volodymyr Zelensky, a popular comedian before he was elected president of Ukraine this spring, promised to bring a fresh kind of politics to the ex-Soviet nation.
And on Thursday, he did what no politician had done before — a more than 12-hour press conference that Ukraine’s National Records Agency declared the longest in world history.
Around eight hours into the marathon event, Zelensky’s first major press conference since coming to power in May, a representative of the agency stood up to deliver the news.
The 41-year-old president reacted with surprise, saying he was a “modest” person and averse to celebrations.
The previous record was held by Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, with a press conference that lasted over seven hours, Ukrainian media reported.
Zelensky’s feat has yet to be verified by an international body.
Thursday’s press conference was taking place at a trendy food court in central Kiev.
Hundreds of local and international journalists joined Zelensky around a table to pose questions in shifts.
The president held forth on subjects such as the war in eastern Ukraine, relations with Russia and his phone call with US President Donald Trump that has led to a Washington impeachment probe.
Zelensky told Ukrainian media he had injections to strengthen his vocal cords before the event.


High-profile Twitter accounts swept up in wave of apparent hacking

Updated 16 July 2020

High-profile Twitter accounts swept up in wave of apparent hacking

WASHINGTON: A series of high-profile Twitter accounts were hijacked on Wednesday, with some of the platform’s top voices — including US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality television show star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama, billionaire Elon Musk, and rapper Kanye West, among many others — used to solicit digital currency.
The cause of the breach was not immediately clear, but the unusual scope of the problem suggested that it was not limited to a single account or service. While account compromises are not unusual, experts were surprised at the sheer scale and coordination of the Wednesday’s incident.
“This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cybersecurity company CrowdStrike.
Twitter said it was investigating what it called a “security incident” and would be issuing a statement shortly. Shares in the social media company tumbled almost 5 percent in trading after the market close before paring their losses.
Some of the tweets were swiftly deleted but there appeared to be a struggle to regain control of several of the accounts. In the case of billionaire Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, for example, one tweet soliciting cryptocurrency was removed and, sometime later, another one appeared, and then a third.
Among the others affected: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and the corporate accounts for Uber and Apple. Several accounts of cryptocurrency-focused organizations were also hijacked.
Biden’s campaign was “in touch” with Twitter, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person said the company had locked down the Democrat’s account “immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet.” Tesla and other affected companies were not immediately available for comment.
Publicly available blockchain records show that the apparent scammers have already received more than $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.
Alperovitch, who now chairs the Silverado Policy Accelerator, said that, in a way, the public had dodged a bullet so far.
“We are lucky that given the power of sending out tweets from the accounts of many famous people, the only thing that the hackers have done is scammed about $110,000 in bitcoins from about 300 people,” he said.