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Banks Are Warned by US Regulators About Cryptocurrency Risks



US regulators have warned banks about the risks linked with the cryptocurrency market for the first time ever in a joint statement.

Financial institutions were warned by the watchdogs to look out for potential fraud, legal uncertainty, and deceptive statements made by companies dealing in digital assets.

Banks were also warned about the industry’s “contagion danger.”

It happens just two months after the bankruptcy of the trading site FTX rocked the cryptocurrency sector.

The US Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency stated in a joint statement that they were closely observing the cryptocurrency activity of banking institutions.

According to the statement, “the last year’s events have been characterized by high volatility and the exposing of weaknesses in the crypto-asset industry.”

The regulators added that it was “very likely” that issuing or retaining crypto tokens, which are kept on open, decentralized networks, would be at odds with safe and sound banking standards.

Additionally, banks were urged to take action to stop issues with the digital asset market from affecting the rest of the financial system.

It said, “It is crucial that risks associated with the cryptoasset sector that cannot be regulated or mitigated do not move to the financial system.”

The announcement on Tuesday comes after US financial sector watchdogs had been reluctant for months to give consistent recommendations on cryptocurrencies, despite banks’ requests for clearer guidance from authorities.

Shock FTX

The November fall of FTX shook the cryptocurrency market.

Millions of people entered the market for digital assets through it, which was the second-largest bitcoin exchange in the world.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, formally refuted allegations that he had misled investors and consumers on Tuesday.

In a US court, he entered a not guilty plea to charges that he used consumer deposits at FTX to fund his other business, Alameda Research, as well as to purchase real estate and give to political campaigns.

Two of Mr. Bankman-closest Fried’s associates have already entered guilty pleas and are helping with the probe, which has shook the cryptocurrency market as a whole.

One of the most prominent individuals in the industry, Mr. Bankman-Fried was well-known for his political connections, celebrity endorsements, and bailouts of other faltering businesses.

He has been charged by the US with “erecting a house of cards on a foundation of deceit while convincing investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto,” according to the US.

World News

11 found dead, 12 missing after Indonesia’s Marapi volcano erupts




Marapi volcano

At least 11 climbers were found dead in Indonesia on Monday following the eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano in West Sumatra, according to a rescue official. Meanwhile, the search for the 12 missing climbers was temporarily suspended due to safety concerns.

According to Jodi Haryawan, a spokesman for the search and rescue team, three survivors and the remains of the 11 climbers — among the 75 people in the region at the time of Sunday’s eruption — were discovered on Monday. The 2,891-meter (9,485-foot)-tall volcano erupted on Sunday, shooting ash up to 3 kilometers into the sky.

Following the eruption, authorities issued a second-highest level alert and restricted residents from within 3km of a crater due to a massive cloud of volcanic ash and ash-covered cars and roads. A small eruption on Monday prompted the search to be suspended, Jodi said.

“It’s too dangerous if we continue searching now,” he said. There were 49 climbers evacuated from the area earlier Monday and many were being treated for burns, he said. Mount Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra Island and its most deadly eruption was in April 1979, when 60 people died, Reuters reported.

This year, it erupted between January and February and was spewing ash around 75 metres-1,000 meters from the peak. Indonesia sits on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire” and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.

Source: SABC

In other news – Photos: A look into radio presenter Khutso Theledi’s lobola negotiations

What a wedding celebration weekend for some well-known South African media personalities.

A look into radio presenter Khutso Theledi's lobola negotiations

Congratulatory messages were the order of the day as multi-award-winning Radio presenter Khutso Theledi and gospel singer. Read more

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World News

WHO board to hold emergency meeting on Gaza health situation





The World Health Organisation’s executive board will hold a rare emergency session on December 10 to discuss the health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, with the Palestinian envoy seeking more medical aid and access for foreign healthcare workers. The WHO confirmed on Monday it had received a request from15 countries to hold the session, which will be convened by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in consultation with the Qatari chair.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, said the meeting would focus mostly on Gaza, engulfed by war between its Hamas rulers and Israel, but also cover attacks on the health sector in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“We want to empower the WHO and call for the Israeli side not to target the medical sector. We want to allow for fresh medical supplies,” he told Reuters, adding that his diplomatic mission was drafting a motion to be reviewed by the board. “One idea is to send more doctors in from around the world,” he added, saying many countries had offered.

The “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is a WHO observer rather than a member state but has influence in the organisation through supporters.

Israel said the session was an example of the “double standards and disproportionate attention towards Israel in the multilateral arena”. Only a fraction of Gaza’s hospitals remain operational due to Israeli bombings and a lack of fuel, and those that are still functioning are increasingly overwhelmed by a new wave of wounded arriving.

Source: SABC

In other news – David Beckham embarks on new humanitarian campaign

David Beckham has lent his voice to support the fight against malaria for many years through his role on the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council.

The football star recently shared the Change the Story campaign video from Zero Malaria on his Instagram to raise further awareness. As a founding council member since 2009, Beckham is dedicated to elevating the issue through his platform. Read more

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