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Takoradi: Woman pleads not guilty in court for ‘fake pregnancy and kidnapping’

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Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman at the centre of the controversial alleged fake pregnancy and kidnapping case in Takoradi, has pleaded not guilty in her first appearance in court on Monday.

This is in spite of the claims by the police that she had confessed to faking the kidnapping and the pregnancy.

Citi News’ Akwesi Agyei Anim said the woman, who was brought to the Takoradi Habour Circuit Court A by police around 6:00 am, appeared calm.

She is facing two charges of deceiving a public officer and publication of false news with intent to cause fear and panic.

The acting Director-General in charge of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori in an earlier interview said the police were going to prosecute her because she wasted their resources by creating such a fake story and sending them on a wild goose chase.

“There is a greater possibility that she might appear before the court because she manufactured all these things with a figment of her own imagination and put the police into business. And we deployed a 40-member search team and even when we located her through public assistance, we took her to the hospital with policemen providing security, and where she claimed to have attended antenatal clinics, it turned out to be false. We went in for a second opinion and got a team of doctors to work on her,” ACP Kwesi Ofori said.

The controversial story has for the past week dominated media discussions. News about her alleged disappearance went viral about two weeks ago.

When she was found in Axim, several miles away from Takoradi where she supposedly disappeared, she was mute, unkempt, and without any sign of the said pregnancy.

Claims that she delivered on the same day she was allegedly kidnapped with the baby taken by her supposed kidnappers have been put under scrutiny with the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah stating on Wednesday, September 22 that the said pregnancy was fake.

The police administration in a subsequent statement confirmed the minister’s claim.

Further, tests conducted on her at a different facility also confirmed that she was never pregnant, according to the police.

The police have interrogated a number of people in connection with her case.

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Uncategorized

Bitcoin’s record price will be good news for some, but it could end up being disastrous for others

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For most of its existence, the cryptocurrency has been described as a bubble that is fit to burst – but so far, each stomach-churning fall has been matched with an equally dizzying recovery.

When Bitcoin launched in January 2009, it was worth pennies.

One man even tried to auction off 10,000 Bitcoin for $50 in 2010 – only to be told that price was way too expensive.

Fast forward to now, and that crypto haul would be worth about $650m (£470m).

Bitcoin year-to-date price chart 20/10/21
Image:Bitcoin’s price over the year to date

Bitcoin’s latest rise to $67,000 has befuddled billionaires and spooked central banks.

For most of its existence, the cryptocurrency has been described as a bubble that is fit to burst – but so far, each stomach-churning fall has been matched with an equally dizzying recovery.

Although awareness of this digital asset has risen in recent years, it remains little understood.

The Financial Conduct Authority revealed in June that the number of Britons who own cryptocurrencies has surged to 2.3 million – yet at the same time, the number of people who could accurately describe what they are has fallen.

Fast forward to now, and that crypto haul would be worth about $650m (£470m).

Bitcoin year-to-date price chart 20/10/21
Image:Bitcoin’s price over the year to date

Bitcoin’s latest rise to $67,000 has befuddled billionaires and spooked central banks.

For most of its existence, the cryptocurrency has been described as a bubble that is fit to burst – but so far, each stomach-churning fall has been matched with an equally dizzying recovery.

Although awareness of this digital asset has risen in recent years, it remains little understood.

The Financial Conduct Authority revealed in June that the number of Britons who own cryptocurrencies has surged to 2.3 million – yet at the same time, the number of people who could accurately describe what they are has fallen.

Some countries want to ban Bitcoin altogether – India and China among them – but doing this is easier said than done.

The cryptocurrency’s decentralised nature means that the Bitcoin network is spread around the world. There’s no single person who can be pressured to shut it down, and no one computer that can take the whole thing offline.

This has created a years-long headache for regulators, not least because of how Bitcoin is often demanded after ransomware attacks.

And all of this comes before we discuss the cryptocurrency’s impact on the environment. If Bitcoin was a country, it would be the 24th-biggest consumer of energy – ahead of Poland and Egypt, and about to overtake Thailand and Vietnam. To compound the problem, less than half of the energy it uses comes from renewable sources.

At the same time, we’re starting to see how this cryptocurrency could potentially be used in daily life.

Several countries in Latin America are keeping a close eye on El Salvador, which has taken the bold step of embracing Bitcoin as legal tender. The cryptocurrency can now be used as a payment method across the country – including in Starbucks, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. And given how migrant workers attempting to send money back home to their loved ones currently face high fees when using cash, it’s also hoped that Bitcoin could lower these costs dramatically.

Inevitably, the other question is whether Bitcoin’s price could rise further.

The British financial institution Standard Chartered has predicted that Bitcoin could hit $100,000 (£72,000) in early 2022. A Bloomberg Intelligence analyst also told me that this price is now “the path of least resistance” in the short term.

But increasing regulatory scrutiny and a precarious global economy mean that this is far from guaranteed.

A screen displays a headline banner that reads; Bitcoin Hits Record High, as a trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Image:Bitcoin neared $67,000 on Wednesday – that’s the highest price ever recorded

Over its 12 years in existence, a regular pattern of four-year cycles has formed – propelling Bitcoin to record prices before a sharp decline.

In 2013, Bitcoin surged from $100 to then unprecedented highs of $1,150 – only to fall by 73% to lows of $310 in 2014.

Fast forward to 2017, and a similar pattern emerged. Over the course of the year, its price rallied from $800 to $20,000. Come 2018 and it shed 80% of its value, tumbling below $4,000 at one point.

If this pattern repeats itself once again, Bitcoin will plummet in 2022 – decimating the investments of those who attempted to jump on the bandwagon when prices were high.

Twitter is awash with crypto pundits – often anonymous – who confidently declare a single Bitcoin will be worth millions of dollars in the future. Others dangerously suggest that their followers should take out loans to purchase Bitcoin, something that could lead to financial ruin in an unregulated market where consumers have zero protection if things go wrong.

A Bitcoin enthusiast told me he is adamant that it will render traditional currencies obsolete – and this cryptocurrency will be used to buy bread and pay rent one day.

This argument doesn’t make sense given its volatility. Who would spend £1 of Bitcoin on a loaf when it could be worth anywhere between 20p and £5 in a year’s time?

Love it or loathe it, Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere. While this latest surge will be good news for some, it will be very bad news for those who jump in at an inopportune moment – blinded by astronomical gains and celebrity endorsements.

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Business

Financial institutions charged to procure advanced systems to deal with cyber threats

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The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari has challenged financial institutions to continuously examine the state of their security systems and design appropriate mechanisms to counter possible cyber threats.

The financial sector, according to the 2020 Banking Industry Fraud report, saw the value of attempted cyber fraud in general rise by over 400 percent from 2019 to 2020.

The reported value of fraud recorded by Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions in Ghana in 2020 was about GH¢1 billion.

Out of that amount, the reported value of attempted cyber and email fraud amounted to over GH¢270 million.

In 2020, cyber/E-mail fraud however recorded a loss value of approximately GH¢1.05 million in 2020 as compared to a loss value of GH¢14.3 million recorded in 2019, representing a 92.6 % decrease in year-on-year terms.

Speaking at the launch of the Cybersecurity Authority and the Critical Information Infrastructure Directive, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari noted that it is important for institutions to regularly implement up-to-date solutions to combat cyber-related threats.

“Regulatory compliance by itself is not cybersecurity. The onus lies on banks to examine the state of their security systems, identify gaps and design appropriate mechanisms to counter possible cyber threats. In addition to these cybersecurity regulations, financial institutions will also be required to implement an integrated approach by adopting enterprise-wide frameworks of cyber risk management in line with business objectives.”

“Today’s world is completely different from a decade ago, as changes in information and communication technology increase exponentially. As a result, it is important for institutions to undertake cybersecurity-related due diligence and assessments, identify proper detective controls, and enforce third party and insider risk programs to protect and safeguard their working environments from cyber-related activities that are not conducive for growth. I believe we will all delve into some of these critical issues that are associated with our drive towards digitization,” he added.

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Politics

AGF office says it has not received official communication on Kyari’s extradition

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AGF office says it has not received official communication on Kyari’s extradition

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has revealed that it is yet to receive any official communication on the arrest warrant issued against the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States. The arrest warrant was […]
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