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Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

US slaps sanctions on two foundations linked to Iranian supreme leader

The United States on Wednesday blacklisted two Iranian foundations controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and their subsidiaries, saying the institutions enabled Iran’s elite to sustain a “corrupt” system of ownership over large parts of the economy. The designations announced by the US Department of the Treasury target Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) and Astan Quds Razavi (AQR), their leaders and subsidiaries. These are the latest actions to reinforce the “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran pursued by US President Donald Trump’s administration. “These institutions enable Iran’s corrupt leaders to exploit a system of ownership over a wide range of sectors of Iran’s economy,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. US-Iranian tensions have risen since T...

Ever-present Boko Haram threat casts shadow in Niger

Seven years after the first Boko Haram attacks in southeastern Niger, people in the city of Diffa, dare not even speak the group’s name. Residents live in a state of siege, frightened and struggling with the economic impact of the Islamist threat. For fear of reprisals, people speak of “insecurity”, of the “problems” or the “current situation”. The fear is well-founded, according to one security source who says Boko Haram sympathisers in the city pass on information to the group. Among the poorest countries in the world, Niger, which is holding presidential elections on Sunday, faces jihadist groups from the Sahel in the west and Boko Haram in the east. “I don’t have 1,000 CFA francs (1.5 euros) in my pocket. I have been unemployed for four years,” says Abdou Maman, 46, who has two wives a...

NBS: N319.99 trillion e-payments recorded in Q3 2020

A total volume of 2,781,526,188 transactions valued at N319.99trn was recorded in the third quarter of this year based on data on electronic payment channels in the Nigeria banking sector, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has said. It disclosed this in its latest Selected Banking Sector Data which focused on sectorial breakdown of credit, e-payment channels and staff strength of Deposit Money Banks. The bureau said Real Time Gross Settlement transfers dominated the volume of transactions recorded. RTGS systems are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to any other bank on a real-time and on a gross basis. The NBS said 1,799,199 volume of online transfer transactions valued at N116.06trn were recorded in Q3 2020. In terms of c...

Rollercoaster: Bitcoiners who missed rally feel relief and regret

Arianna O’Dell, a 30-year-old entrepreneur and songwriter based in New York City, had a tumultuous four-year journey in cryptocurrency before selling her investments in February. During her rollercoaster ride, bitcoin prices swung from less than $1,000 to nearly $20,000. O’Dell may not have made optimal decisions about when to buy or sell, and missed out on the recent rally – but said she does not regret that. Investing $2,705 worth of proceeds into her business was better than enduring the stress of daily fluctuations, even though the price has since doubled, she said. “Honestly, I’ve had more luck in Vegas than I’ve had with cryptocurrencies,” O’Dell said in an interview. She is part of a relatively new class of retail investors who joined the cryptocurrency market years ago, helping pro...

WSJ: Apple, Ford, and Disney push back on Donald Trump’s WeChat ban

Several major US companies have expressed their concern over the effects of the Trump administration’s executive order targeting WeChat, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. “More than a dozen” companies including Apple, Ford, Walmart, and Disney are all said to have taken part in a call with White House officials on Tuesday where the companies detailed the adverse consequences that a ban on WeChat could have on their own businesses. The post WSJ: Apple, Ford, and Disney push back on Donald Trump’s WeChat ban appeared first on TODAY. You Deserve to Make Money Even When you are looking for Dates Online. So we reimagined what a dating should be. It begins with giving you back power. Get to meet Beautiful people, chat and make money in the process. Earn rewards by chatting, shari...

Grand jury indicts Woodberry for ‘wire fraud’

Olalekan Ponle, a Nigerian held in the United States for alleged multi-million-dollar fraud, has been indicted by the grand jury, a group of lawyers empowered to conduct legal proceedings and investigate potential criminal conduct. Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, alongside Ramoni Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, was arrested in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit. According to the complaint, an unnamed Chicago company was defrauded into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million. Companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California also were victims of the fraud, prosecutors say. Newsmen reported how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) nabbed Ponle through details accessed from his What...

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