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Ghana Comedy Awards 2024 Nominations Now Open

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Ghana Comedy Awards 2024 Nominations Now Open

As of February 1, 2024, the prestigious Ghana Comedy Awards invites nominations for its highly anticipated event. Recognized as one of Ghana’s most credible schemes, the awards ceremony encompasses a total of 25 categories, with 16 falling under personality, 7 under the industry, and 2 under special categories.

This year’s focus is to honor the hard work and dedication of comedians who have tirelessly contributed to entertaining not only Ghanaians but also a global audience.

The recently launched Board, featuring legends such as Tommy Annan Forson, Hon. Fritz Baffour, Mikki Osei Berko, Socrate Sarfo, and other prominent personalities, adds to the credibility of the awards.

To become a nominee, visit the official website at https://ghanacomedyawards.com /, click on the nomination tab, and complete your credentials with an attached image and link to your performance videos. Applicants can select multiple categories based on their qualifications.

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Nominations close on February 20, 2024, followed by a thorough review by the Board.

The official announcement of the nominees is set to take place in March. Get ready for an exciting experience at the Ghana Comedy Awards 2024!

#GhanaComedyAwards”

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WhatsApp Forensics: Deleted Message Recovery on iOS vs. Android

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When it comes to solving cases, deliberately hidden evidence is often what is needed to unravel the knot. In the digital age, these traces may be digital, too, making it trickier for forensic tools and investigators. With the growing number of mobile apps, there are more challenges in recovering this data, as data management varies across different operating systems. Successfully retrieving deleted data can reveal hidden details and provide crucial insights, significantly impacting the outcome of an investigation.

As we continue our WhatsApp forensics series, let’s explore how deletion and data storage functions in WhatsApp databases. Is it possible to retrieve deleted data from these databases? We will find out using Belkasoft X, a flagship tool for computer, mobile, drone, car, and cloud forensics.

SQLite and deleted records

Before we get to our forensic WhatsApp recovery experiment, it is best to have an understanding of SQLite, the lightweight database system used by many mobile applications, including WhatsApp.

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Its popularity stems from its serverless architecture, making it an optimal choice for applications requiring a simple yet solid data storage solution. This extensive usage of SQLite in both built-in and third-party applications makes it a significant focus in digital forensic investigations.

In forensic data analysis, understanding SQLite’s unique features and structures is essential for accurately extracting and interpreting digital evidence. SQLite databases store information in a structured manner, often containing vital data such as chat logs, browser history, and user activity records. Features like freelists, Write-Ahead Logs (WAL), and unallocated space are crucial for investigators as they can reveal deleted or uncommitted data, which might otherwise be inaccessible through standard database queries.

Freelists in SQLite databases store recently deleted records, providing forensic experts with the opportunity to recover data that users might have attempted to erase. Similarly, WAL files maintain a log of changes to the database, preserving records of recent transactions that can be critical in understanding the sequence of events leading up to an incident. Unallocated space within SQLite databases can also contain remnants of previously stored data, offering additional insights during forensic analysis.

Now, let’s put this knowledge into context and see how SQLite’s features enable WhatsApp forensic analysis across different operating systems.

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Forensic WhatsApp recovery on the iOS smartphone

There is a lot to unpack when it comes to SQLite forensics, but for now, we will keep things simple and do a side-by-side comparison of deleted WhatsApp data retrieval on Android and iOS. 

Picture a conversation between an iOS and an Android user where both of them deleted several messages. WhatsApp offers two deletion options: “for Everyone” (available for a limited time) and “for Me.” In this case, we deleted two messages “for Everyone” and the rest “for Me.” The following screenshot shows how these deletions appeared on our test iPhone.

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To obtain a full file system copy of the iPhone, we used the checkm8-based acquisition method available in Belkasoft X. While it’s possible to retrieve WhatsApp data from an iTunes or iCloud backup, it is best to get the full file system copy with the help of mobile forensics software, as this generally offers a more comprehensive dataset. We also used Belkasoft X to analyze and examine the acquired image. When we found our test chat, we identified the following artifacts extracted from the database:

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As you can see, the messages we recovered reflected the data available on the device during acquisition. No “for Me” deleted items were present, and empty bubbles indicated messages deleted “for Everyone.” To explore further, we used Belkasoft X’s robust SQLite viewer, which can recover various records, including freelists, WAL files, and unallocated space.

We examined the ChatStorage.sqlite database within the iPhone’s file system. WhatsApp databases can be found in ..\private\var\mobile\Containers\Shared\AppGroup, in the subfolder named after the GUID assigned to the application during installation. The ZWAMESSAGE table contains the message details.

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Initially, sorting by the Record type column revealed no freelist or WAL records. In the Unallocated space, a few records appeared but lacked significant information. Sorting by the primary key to locate our chat messages revealed gaps in the Z_PK (primary key) values, indicating deleted records. The ZSORT column helped identify the chronological order of messages, aiding in spotting gaps in the user’s chats.

Given these findings, it is evident that iOS WhatsApp databases are not effective for recovering deleted messages. However, by examining the Z_PK and ZSORT columns in the ZWAMESSAGE table, you can still gain insights into the removal of records from conversations, which is better than nothing. Will Android databases prove any better?

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Forensic analysis of WhatsApp on the Android smartphone

First, let’s see how the test conversation and deleted messages looked on the other end. 

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We acquired the device using the “Android file system copy” method and analyzed it with Belkasoft X. After locating our test chat in the tool’s “Artifacts” window, we discovered that Belkasoft X was able to recover the majority of the deleted messages. How come?

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While there are many nuances to obtaining and navigating Android WhatsApp data, we will look at the Android database WAL records to understand this particular case. Let’s see how this relates to our WhatsApp forensics and deleted messages.

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Android devices store WhatsApp message data in the msgstore.db file located in ..\data\data\com.whatsapp\databases. The message table holds the user’s chat records. To find our test conversation, we need to sort the table by the _id column.

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What do we have here? Some primary key values are duplicated, and one number is missing. The Record type column shows that many records originate from the WAL file, so let’s examine it.

The Write-Ahead Log (WAL) in SQLite handles database records by writing changes to a WAL file before merging them into the main database during a checkpoint. This ensures data integrity and allows reading the latest data from the WAL file. WAL files store changes between checkpoints, preserving deleted records and aiding forensic investigations by allowing recovery of modified and deleted data.

Reviewing the Android database WAL records, we can trace transactions during the WhatsApp conversation and message deletions. Belkasoft X’s SQLite Viewer shows WAL and main database records together, offering a comprehensive view of changes. It successfully retrieved these records because the WAL checkpoint had not occurred by the time of acquisition. Despite Android’s cooperative WAL mechanism, one message deleted “for Me” was completely removed. WhatsApp’s proprietary code makes it difficult to pinpoint WAL configuration on Android, but our tests show it’s more cooperative than on iOS.

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Can digital forensics tools recover deleted WhatsApp messages?

Our investigation into deleted WhatsApp messages on iOS and Android revealed that it all comes down to the technical background of the problem and the mobile forensics tools in use.

iOS databases were less cooperative, showing no traces of deleted records, though we could infer deletions from missing primary key values. Android’s Write-Ahead Logging (WAL) mechanism and fewer checkpoints allowed us to recover most deleted messages using Belkasoft X. 

We are once again convinced that proper knowledge of database structures and  appropriate forensic tools can significantly enhance the accuracy and completeness of digital forensic investigations.

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Can You Fly with Kratom? How to Bring Kratom on a Plane

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Traveling with kratom can raise questions, given its legal status varies by location. This guide aims to clarify whether you can fly with kratom and how to do so responsibly. 

 

Kratom, an herbal supplement used for various purposes, faces regulatory scrutiny in different parts of the world. Understanding these regulations is crucial for travelers wishing to carry kratom on a plane. We’ll cover critical considerations, including legalities in your departure, transit, and arrival destinations, and tips for packing kratom to comply with airline policies and security procedures. 

 

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This introduction serves as a starting point for those looking to navigate the complexities of traveling with kratom, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey. Whether you use the strongest kratom strain for health reasons or personal preference, being informed and prepared is essential when bringing it on your travels.

Can You Fly With Kratom?

Yes, you can fly with kratom. You can take it through airport security and keep it in your hand luggage or checked baggage. But before packing your bags, you must check the legal status of kratom where you are flying. Some states have completely banned kratom, whereas others have age restrictions, etc. Here is the list of US states that have banned kratom:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont,
  • Wisconsin

 

If you are found with kratom in a place where it is banned, you can be fined or even sentenced to prison.

The states where there is an age restriction regarding kratom are as follows:

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  • Arizona – The legal age to consume kratom is 18 years. The state has also passed KCPA.

  • Georgia: People over the age of 18 can consume kratom. The state has also passed KCPA.

 

  • Tennessee – The minimum age to consume kratom in this state is 21 years.

  • Illinois – The age limit to consume kratom is 18 in this state. It is banned in the city of Jerseyville.
  • Florida – Florida has recently promulgated a law. The minimum age to consume kratom is 18 years. However, it is banned in Sarasota Country.

  • California – People under the age of 21 can not consume kratom. The new law has recently come into effect. Buying kratom strains is only possible for those who are above 21 years old.

  • Mississippi – One is allowed to buy, sell, and even consume kratom anywhere in the state without any age limit except in Union County.

  • New Hampshire – One has to be above the age of 18 to consume kratom in the state.

  • New York – The state has legalized kratom but defined the age limit for selling kratom. The kratom can only be sold to people above the age of 21.

  • North Carolina – The consumption of kratom is not regulated or checked so far. Anyone above the age of 18 can sell, buy, or possess kratom.

 

  • Utah – The state follows the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. The legal age to consume kratom is 18.
  • Virginia  – You must be at least 21 years old to consume kratom in Virginia.

Traveling Safely with Kratom: Does and Don’ts

Kratom users can travel with kratom strains in their hand luggage or checked-in baggage. However, it would be best to note specific rules and regulations promulgated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Some of the essential controls are provided as follows:

 

  • Kratom should be carried in the form of powders or capsules.
  • One can bring 12 ounces or 350 ml of kratom powders in your carry-on bag. If the limit exceeds, you must place it in a separate bin for x-ray screening.
  • TSA advises keeping more than 12 ounces of powder items in their checked baggage.
  • Kratom products must be appropriately packed to avoid any spillage or leakage. Covering products with a bubble wrap and using extra plastic can be helpful for this purpose.
  • Always carry the product in its original packaging. This helps the authorities to get all the information related to the product and confirm if the product is allowed.

 

These regulations can be challenging to abide by at all times. When you are traveling in an emergency, you barely get time to back up your kratom storage. 

 

In such a situation, you can always prefer getting your products from a reputable online vendor. Online Kratom vendors such as Happy Go Leafy pack products according to the guidelines. In addition to adhering to these rules, one must be aware of the state-specific legalities and comply with them before traveling to ensure a hassle-free journey.

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Tips For Traveling Successfully With Kratom

While traveling with kratom may not be an issue because it is not federally regulated in the USA, one must be very careful. Even a tiny mistake can cost you your entire journey and get you in trouble. Here are some fantastic tips summarized for your travel that will help you.

Always know the laws.

Knowing the legality of kratom at the destination is important before traveling. Likewise, you must also understand the laws of the stopover countries. You may encounter some security personnel who can search for kratom during your layovers as well.

Carry kratom in checked-in luggage.

Carrying kratom in your checked-in luggage avoids repeated security checks and interrogation. Keep the product’s original packaging intact so that airport security can quickly identify the substance. There are types of kratom strains; if you have purchased from a reputable vendor, the packaging will have all the information written on its labels for that kratom strain.

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Be prepared for interrogation

The security personnel will ask you questions if you travel with kratom. Despite it being legal in some states to carry and possess kratom, the security officers would ask you questions. They would inquire about your intention of carrying kratom. It would be best if you answered their questions confidently.  

Provide all the information.

Possession of kratom within defined quantities is not questionable. But carrying more than the permissible limits can be a matter of concern for you. Security officers will ask you many questions if they detect this. You should be prepared for these questions in advance. You may also be required to provide information regarding the source of kratom, reasons to buy, details of usage, etc. 

Final Thoughts: Can you Bring Kratom on a Plane?

So, in conclusion, we discussed the legality of traveling with kratom on a plane. We understand that the product is not federally regulated. However, travelers should be conscientious while traveling with kratom. Knowing the laws and complying with all the facilities can be an excellent way to avoid any last-minute hassle.

 

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Always pack your kratom products properly during travel. Additionally, it is imperative on your part to cooperate with the security officers during interrogation. So, always make sure to provide honest and accurate information about kratom products to the authorities.

 

For this, you can retain the original labels and packaging of the kratom products. This will help them to verify the information quickly. Once you take care of these factors in advance, there is no hustle in traveling with kratom. 



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A career in film and TV: Achieving Financial Sustainability

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Building a long-term career in the industry requires more than just skills and passion. It means deploying your creative abilities on business principles. Here are some tips on how to make your talent pay…

The film and television industry is an exciting one, full of opportunities, rapid innovation and constantly shifting collaboration networks. However, the same factors that make the sector so attractive, also make it hard for film and TV professionals to build financial stability. 

The field can be uncertain for those not fortunate enough to have a permanent job in the sector. Many professionals are freelancers, some full-time employees, and some are small-business owners, and others a combination of the two. 

Each of these career paths has advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to financial stability. These are some tips for building a financially stable career within the film and TV sector. 

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Grow your network

Across the African continent, the film and television sector tends to be dominated by a handful of major businesses, with dozens of small enterprises acting as suppliers to the majors. These relationships are constantly shifting, with constellations of networks that change from project to project. To become part of this ecosystem, look to expand your own personal network. Join industry associations, attend talks, conferences and expos, reach out on social media, online debates, X spaces, or other forums. Most of all, treat everyone you meet with respect. Your network is one of your greatest assets, and as your fortunes fluctuate, it is reassuring to have a network that may offer your next opportunity. 

Take ownership of your finances

When you are in full-time employment, it is sometimes tempting to leave big decisions to the all-knowing Company. Retirement planning, medical aid and pension funds often come with your pay package and it feels like everything is being taken care of by your employers. This is not always the case. It’s far better to learn all you can about your financial choices. Consult a financial advisor, but take ownership of your own situation. Where possible, establish financial plans that will remain in place, whether you are in formal employment or not. Choose what suits you, your life stage, and your income, and review your position regularly. 

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Budget for the tough times

Because the film industry is unpredictable, when you are earning, you should create a financial buffer that will see you through times of hardship! Get into the habit of prudent money management – whether you are flush or not. Maintain a humble approach. Fortunes can change rapidly. Don’t take the good times for granted. But don’t let the tough times break your spirit either. Sometimes one text is all it takes to change your life!

Develop your skills

Because there may not always be opportunities in the film and TV market, it is worth learning skills that you can apply in adjacent industries. Social media, marketing, publishing, web content, corporate communications… all these sectors require similar skills to the film industry. Network in that sector too. Take some courses, research other industries, and apply for opportunities. Institutions like the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) can help you gain skills, build a network, and find work opportunities down the line. Market yourself according to your skills, not just one role. Once you have built up experience, you may find you are suited to being a teacher, lecturer, or a coach. The world is large and there are many places where you could be the right fit. 

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Get that paper

Ensure you get paid! It may seem obvious, but if you are a freelancer, it becomes a lot more difficult getting paid. Whereas a full-time employee only has to do their work, a freelancer has a triple challenge: finding the work, doing the work, and getting paid for the work! So, if you become a service provider, make sure you register your business, or become registered on your clients’ databases. Make friends with the people in the pay office at each of your clients. Know your rights when it comes to your creative input. Explore how blockchain technology and smart contracts can help freelancers and entrepreneurs in film and TV to secure their royalties and intellectual property rights.

Many people build long, rewarding careers in the film industry. With the right skills, the right network, and an approach of lifelong learning, it is possible to thrive creatively – and financially – while helping to create the kind of content that enriches the lives of thousands. 

 

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Hollard Ghana Empowers Students with Menstrual Hygiene Education and Donates to 9 schools.

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Hollard Ghana, the country’s favourite insurer, with its subsidiaries Hollard Insurance and Hollard Life, has made a profound difference in the lives of young girls in Tema, Sunyani, Takoradi, Kumasi, and Tamale. Through reproductive health education and the distribution of sanitary pads, the company has commemorated World Menstrual Hygiene Day and empowered the youth to take charge of their health and education.

The beneficiary schools are across five regions in Ghana, including Methodist Day Senior High School, Tema,  Sunyani, Nwawasua M/A Basic School, St Anselm’s Anglican Cluster of Schools, Sunyani, Methodist Basic School, Tanoso, Methodist Basic School, Yamfo, Mbredane STMA Basic, St James Anglican Basic – Akromakrom, Mampong Stma Basic, Atwiman Kwanwoma Senior High Technical (AKASS), Trede, Kumasi and Vitting Senior High School, Tamale.

After successfully coordinating multiple events across the country, Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuo, Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Hollard Ghana, stated that as an insurance company, Hollard’s goal is to provide care to its community. She said, “We are thrilled to commemorate World Menstrual Day with over 5000 students nationwide. Recognising teachers’ invaluable role in reproductive education, we are here to complement their efforts and advocate for an inclusive community where girls can confidently manage their menstrual cycles while receiving support from their male counterparts.”

“It is essential to distribute sanitary pads and provide health talks by qualified health practitioners, and it is equally important to involve young boys in this advocacy. When boys have a comprehensive understanding of the female reproductive system, they can be valuable supporters for their sisters, friends, mothers, and future spouses.,” she added.

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Samuel Agyekum, Acting Clinical Coordinator and Chairman of the Infection Prevention and Control Committee at the President Medical Center and CEO of Prevenza Health Consult, emphasised the importance of proper menstrual hygiene for girls’ overall health. He stressed that it is crucial for their education and future success and that it’s essential to ensure that no girl misses school due to her period.

After the intervention, Fusieni Alhassan, the Assistant Headmistress Domestic of Vitting Senior High Technical School in Tamale, one of the recipient schools, praised the timeliness of the effort. She thanked the insurance group for selecting the school as a beneficiary. She mentioned that some girls had never seen a sanitary pad before and were thankful for this gesture. Additionally, she advocated for a more comprehensive education package in the future, including family planning.

About Hollard Ghana

The country’s favourite insurance group is Hollard Ghana, with subsidiaries Hollard Insurance and Hollard Life Assurance. The group combines its deep local knowledge of the market, having previously operated in Ghana for 25 years as Metropolitan Insurance, with the world-class expertise of an international insurance brand in 18 countries worldwide. With feet firmly planted on Ghanaian soil but headquartered in South Africa, Hollard delivers innovative insurance solutions customised to the unique risks Ghanaians face. Hollard offers various life and general insurance products, including funeral, personal accident, motor, business, travel, home, and more. Reach Hollard via 0800 444 999. Beyond various nationwide office branches and Hollard 2U franchise shops, Ghanaians can find Hollard at Shell Fuel Station Welcome Shops, Melcom stores and online at www.hollard.com.gh, www.melcom.com/hollard-insurance and www.jumia.com.gh for all their insurance needs.

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SAMINI TO PERFORM AT LIVE KONNECT IN ACCRA ON JUNE 29

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Ghanaian reggae and dancehall artist, Samini, is all set to thrill music fans during the June edition of the popular entertainment event, Live Konnect.

Multiple award-winning recording artist formerly known as Batman, will be performing alongside two of Ghana’s finest live bands, the Greatest Band, and the Groove House Band, on the night.

Set to open the stage for Samini on the night are the Greatest Band who have come to be loved by many music fans in Accra for their dazzling performances.

The Groove House Band, Greatest Band, and Samini appearance at Live Konnect will be held at the Soho Bar, Marina Mall in Accra on June 29, 2024.

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The event will be hosted by KOD and promises to be a memorable experience for patrons. Tickets for the event can be purchased by dialing *714*11*26#. Table reservations can also be made via 0550188888/0271000085.

Live Konnect, organized by multiple award-winning Ghanaian Disc Jockey, DJ Mensah, is one of the high-profile entertainment events in Ghana.

Several A-list Ghanaian musicians including Sarkodie, Kwabena Kwabena, Sista Afia, Amerado, Okyeame Kwame, and Mr. Drew, have all performed at Live Konnect over the years, leaving music fans with memorable experiences.

Samini, known in private life as Emmanuel Andrews Sammini, is one of Ghana’s most gifted musicians, renowned for his music genre which is a melodious mixture of high life, dancehall, reggae and hip-hop. Samini,  who has seven commercially successful studio albums to his credit, gained prominence after the release of his first single, ‘Linda’. For Ticket: https://veetickets.com/ev/BuyTicket/1741

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Charger limited CEO, Dr. Emmanuel Bortey Borketey commissions borehole and donates to orphanage to mark his birthday 

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Dr. Emmanuel Bortey Borketey, the Chief Executive Officer of Charger Limited, has made a significant impact on the community of Zaari-Kolmasug in the Garu District of the Upper East Region. 

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