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US: NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough casts his Ballot from Space on Election Day

A 1997 Texas law allows astronauts away from the earth to vote on the election day, provided they request their ballots one year before launch

Expedition 47 backup crew member, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough answers a question from the press ahead of his Soyuz qualification exams with Russian cosmonauts Andre Borisenko, and Sergei Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Washington, November 8, 2016: Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, the only US citizen in space on Election Day, cast his vote from the International Space Station (ISS), Nasa said on Tuesday.

Kimbrough, 45, who arrived on board the ISS in mid-October, exercised his right to vote from the space platform orbiting the Earth at 27,000 km per hour.

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“An electronic and secure ballot is sent to the member of the ISS crew from the clerk in his county. (The astronaut) fills in the form and returns it electronically. It’s all secure. It is all private,” Efe news agency cited a Nasa statement.

A 1997 Texas law allows astronauts away from the earth to vote on the election day, provided they request their ballots one year before launch.

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Before launching on a four-month mission, Kimbrough said it was going to be special, being able to say ‘I voted from space’, Daily Mail reported.

Astronauts are ‘pretty much apolitical’, he told reporters last month, adding that he would be glad to welcome the new President, whoever it might be.

Previous US crewmember on board the ISS, astronaut Kate Rubins, also voted from space before returning to the earth last week. (IANS)

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Facebook doesn’t Hire Journalists, says Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg quoted that Facebook doesn't hire Journalists. ians

San Francisco, Oct 14: As people debate Facebook’s role in influencing people during the US presidential elections by Russian ads and fake news on the platform, the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg has stressed that the social media giant is not a media organization, and therefore does not hire journalists.

Sandberg said that Facebook is run by technical workers and engineers and according to her, the company does not produce news content, therefore it can’t be a media company.

In an interview with US-based news website Axios on Thursday, she said, “At our heart we are a tech company. We hire engineers. We don’t hire reporters. No one is a journalist.”

“We don’t cover the news. But when we say that, we’re not saying we don’t have a responsibility. In fact we’re a new kind of platform… as our size grows, we think we have more responsibility,” the executive was quoted as saying.

Business Insider said a firm that is a major source of news and information for people, generates billions in ad revenue and is producing its own original television shows is classified as a media company and Facebook does all of that.

Contrary to her claim, it hired former NBC anchor Campbell Brown in January to head up the company’s news division and work with other journalists to maximise their use of Facebook’s platform.

Reportedly, Facebook does not want to harm its $500 billion valuations by admitting it is a media company. If the company accepts that it is a media firm, it would open the platform up to regulatory rules in the US and other countries which Facebook would rather avoid.

Facebook Ads were considered during US Presidential Elections. Pixabay

Business Insider said Britain was already considering regulations that would treat it more like a media company.

Meanwhile, on the Russian ad issue, Sandberg said the election meddling on the platform “shouldn’t have happened” and she wouldn’t discuss Russia or Trump.

“We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms… and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them,” she said.

Sandberg said that if the Russian-linked ads were posted by “real people” and not fake accounts, Facebook would have let their content remain on the site. “When you allow free expression, you allow free expression.”

“Facebook owes the American people an apology. Not just an apology, but determination for our role in enabling Russian interference during the election,” she said. (IANS)