Just a Moment News - 2024-03-05


Hello, this is Erika, and you’re listening to ‘Just a Moment News’ on this 5th day of March 2024. Let’s dive into today’s top stories.

First up, we have news from the broadcasting sector. The French media company, Groupe Canal+, has decided to up its acquisition offer for all shares of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed MultiChoice Group that it doesn’t already own. The new offer stands at R125 per share, a substantial 19% hike from the previous R105 per share. This move comes after MultiChoice rejected Canal+’s initial offer, citing undervaluation. However, the revised offer seems to have found mutual agreement. That said, the deal still faces significant regulatory challenges, mainly due to South African legislation that limits foreign voting control in broadcasting licensees to 20%. Canal+ already holds a 35% stake in MultiChoice, so overcoming this restriction is critical for the acquisition’s success.

Turning our attention to cybersecurity, a ransomware gang has claimed responsibility for hacking the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) of South Africa. The hackers allege that they’ve had access to the agency’s systems since 2021. Despite the CIPC attempting to downplay the breach’s severity, the hackers insist that the agency has failed to address significant security vulnerabilities. They’ve provided evidence of their access, including the ability to manipulate company registrations and access sensitive data. While the CIPC has engaged law enforcement, this incident underscores the critical need for robust security audits and the potential consequences of neglecting cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

In sports news, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the head of Formula One’s governing body, is reportedly under investigation for potentially interfering with the outcome of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The controversy revolves around Ben Sulayem’s alleged efforts to reverse a penalty given to Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. Alonso was later reinstated to third place following a team appeal that presented new evidence, sparking debate over the fairness and integrity of FIA’s decision-making process. Additionally, internal tensions within the Red Bull team suggest potential leadership instability, adding another layer of complexity to the world of Formula One.

On the tech front, OpenAI’s new Read Aloud feature for ChatGPT could be a game-changer for users on the go. The feature allows the AI to read its responses out loud in one of five voice options. It can speak 37 languages and is available on both the web version of ChatGPT and the iOS and Android ChatGPT apps. The new feature demonstrates what OpenAI can do with multimodal capabilities and is a significant step forward in the AI communication realm.

In the world of extreme sports, South Africa’s renowned ice swimming record holder, Amber Fillary, has shattered three Guinness World Records in Norway. Fillary swam one hundred meters under ice in a single breath while wearing only a costume, breaking her own 2022 record. She then extended her achievement by swimming one hundred and five meters and then one hundred and ten meters using a monofin. Fillary’s endeavors aim to shed light on mental health issues and encourage individuals to overcome adversity.

In business news, Ethiopian Airlines Group has inaugurated a $55 million e-commerce logistics center at Bole International Airport. The facility, which is specifically designed for e-commerce, mail, and courier logistics, is part of the airline’s broader vision to make Addis Ababa a key hub for cross-border e-commerce logistics in Africa and internationally.

In a fascinating turn of events, a Ferrari owned by Austrian former racing driver Gerhard Berger, which was stolen in 1995, has been found and traced. The car, a red F512M Testarossa, had been moved to Japan shortly after the theft and arrived in the UK in late 2023. The recovery of the stolen Ferrari underscores the effectiveness of international collaboration in addressing cross-border crime.

Finally, in historical discovery news, a Cambridge University historian, Federica Gigante, has discovered an authentic 11th-century astrolabe at the Fondazione Museo Miniscalchi-Erizzo in Verona, Italy. The astrolabe, which is one of the oldest known, has engravings in both Arabic and Hebrew, underscoring the instrument’s role as a record of scientific exchange among Arabs, Jews, and Christians throughout centuries.

And that wraps up our news for today. Thanks for joining us here at ‘Just a Moment News’. This is your host, Erika, signing off.

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