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1,801 commuters killed in road crashes in 9 months

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Road crashes, Newscenta, deaths, Ghana, 9 months, NRSA, Police MTTD,
Bus crash in Ghana. Photo: MTTD

Provisional data compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) shows that the number of commuters killed in road traffic crashes recorded in the first nine months of 2022 declined by 17.08 % compared to the same period of 2021.

An improvement in enforcement by the MTTD and increase in awareness creation by the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) are largely responsible for the reduction.

 Fatalities dropped to 1,801

It dropped from 2,172 fatalities between January and September last year to 1,801 during the same period this year.

1,419 males killed

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The data also shows that 1,419 males made up of 157 below the ages of 18 and 1,262 who are 18 years and above were killed.

382 females killed

Similarly, 382 females comprising  85 who are 18 years and below, as well as 297 aged 18 years and above, also died from road crashes.

Accra tops deaths with 126

The breakdown of deaths are Accra-126, Ashanti-120, Eastern-112, Western North-36, Volta-36, Tema-35, Central-35, Bono-35, Northern-32, Ahafo-30, Upper East-29, Western-28, Upper West-27, Bono East-25,Savanna-12, North East-12, Central East Region-10 and Oti-6.

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Motorcycles kill 746 (41%)

Motorcycles killed the highest number of commuters totalling 746, representing 41% of total fatalities.

Commercial vehicles kill 612 (34%)

It is followed by commercial vehicles which killed 612 commuters, representing 34% of all fatalities during the nine months.

Private vehicles kill 443 (25%)

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Also, private vehicles claimed the lives of 443, representing 25% of all persons killed.

Pedestrian knockdowns kill 504 (28%)

Out of the 1,801 fatalities, 504 representing 28% resulted from pedestrian knockdowns.

504 pedestrians killed (-11.3% decline)

Pedestrians killed in the nine months of this year recorded 11.3% decline to 504 compared to the 623 killed during the same period last year.

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11,771 injured (10.2%) decline

Similarly, the number of persons injured also recorded 1.2% drop from 11,914 last year to 11,771 during the same period this year.

Ashanti tops injuries with 808

The regional breakdown of injuries are Ashanti – 808, Accra-746, Eastern-373, Tema-220, Western -162, Central East Region-151, Western North-116, Central-115, Upper East-109, Bono East-86, Volta-79, Ahafo-72, Northern-71, Upper West-56, Savanna-37, Bono-34, North East-20 and Oti-13.

19,483 (-5.18%) decline in vehicles involved in roach crashes

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In the same vein, vehicles involved in road crashes also reduced by 5.18% from, 20,548 last year, to 19,483 this year.

11,333 (6.09%) decrease in reported cases

For reported cases, the figure also decreased by 6.09% from 12,068 last year to 11,333 this year.

6,652 (8.05%) decrease in commercial vehicles crashes

Regarding the proportions of vehicles involved in crashes, commercial vehicles decreased by 8.05% to 6,652 this year from 7,234 recorded last year.

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Commercial vehicles account for 34.1%.of crashes

When it comes to the proportion of total vehicles involved in crashes, commercial vehicles account for 34.5%.

4,094 (-10.75%) decline in motorcycles involved in crashes

The proportions of motorcycles involved in crashes this year also fell by 10.75% from the 4,587 last year to 4,094 this year.

Motorcycles account for 21% of all crashes

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This makes the proportion of motorcycles involved in total crashes between January and September this year 21%.

8,737 (0.11%) private vehicles involved in crashes

In respect of private vehicles, the proportion involved in crashes rose to 8,737 this year representing 0.11% increase over 8,727 recorded last year.

Private vehicles accounts for 44.8% of crashes 

For percentages, private vehicles constitute 44.8% of total crashes in the first nine months of this year.

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Misinformation undermining democracy, eroding gains in Ghana

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Misinformation, Newscenta, ISD, website, Ghana Today, Information Ministry,

Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has expressed grave concern about the rising spate of false publications and misinformation within the Ghanaian media landscape.

According to him, the phenomenon is gradually undermining the democracy of the country and eroding the gains made over the years.

With a significant section of the Ghanaian population now relying on online platforms and other social media platforms for information, he noted that some unscrupulous persons had resulted to using those channels to propagate falsehood and misinformation.

Speaking at the launch of a website for the Information Services Department (ISD) of the Ministry of Information in Accra, Oppong Nkrumah stated that “This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”

23.05m internet users

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The state of digital in Ghana in 2023 report indicates that there are 23.05 million internet users in Ghana at the start of 2023, when internet penetration stood at 68.2%.

6.6m social media users

Ghana is home to 6.6 million social media users in January 2023, equating to 19.5% of the total population.

43.88m cellular mobile connections

A total of 43.88 million cellular mobile connections are active in Ghana in early 2023, with this figure equivalent to 129.8% of the total population.

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68.2% internet penetration

Ghana’s internet penetration rate stood at 68.2% of the total population at the start of 2023.

Ghana Today

The platform which is a website called Ghana Today is a reliable news portal that provides accurate information on government projects, programmes, communications and positions.

www.ghanatoday.gov.gh

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The website, www.ghanatoday.gov.gh, has been created with the aim of combating public misinformation, a phenomenon that has been on the ascendancy, with the establishment of multiple private media outfits and blogs.

Objective of the portal

The main objective of the portal will be to disseminate information directly from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, about the works of Government and becoming a repository of all happenings in government.

Oppong Nkrumah in his address stressed that the launch of the news website forms part of the Ministry’s duties of supervising ISD and supporting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to communicate regularly.

The portal, the Minister noted, will provide facts about government projects and programmes, as well as full texts of all speeches by heads of MDAs, official communications and publications, and policies and programme documents to reduce the level of misrepresentations and misinformation online.

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Re-organization and retooling Programme

Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the launch of this project by the ISD forms an integral part of the re-organization and retooling Programme, and is aimed at equipping the Department to serve more audiences with its work even as the times and media consumption patterns change.

He said, “a significant section of our population now relies on online platforms and other social media platforms for information. It is also important to note that some unscrupulous persons have used many of these portals and social media platforms to propagate falsehood and misinformation. This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”

Fight against misinformation

He continued, “the rollout of this website will, therefore support the department in the fight against misinformation.”

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Repository of all happenings in govt

He further indicated that it will provide “direct information from Ministries, Departments and Agencies about the works of government and become a repository of all happenings in government.

Sensitisation of the public

He said, over the years, the ISD had played critical role in the sensitisation of the public on major issues of national interest, including the construction of the Akosombo dam; re-introduction of the 17 per cent VAT after a previous failed attempt; introduction of the new Ghana cedi in 2007 and most recently, the creation of the six new regions and the E-Levy.

Those, he said, the Department had done through the use of various Public Education Campaign strategies and the deployment of Public Relations professionals and Regional and District Information Officers to MMDAS and MDAs.

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Keeping up with ever-changing media landscape

However, he noted that, the Department had lost some steam in recent years, mostly due to the inability of successive administrations to equip it as well as keep up with the ever-changing media landscape and the advancement in technology.

In response to these challenges, Oppong Nkrumah stated that Cabinet has approved a Programme for the Department to undergo vigorous re-tooling and re-organization to meet the needs of the present day.

He indicated that the launch of the website formed an integral part of the re-organisation and retooling programme of the Department, aimed at equipping it to serve more audiences with its work even as the time and media consumption patterns changed.

He urged the staff to work quickly and accurately to ensure that the citizenry was reached with all the facts and the necessary documentation as soon as possible.

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The Minister tasked ISD to “get to work with speed to ensure that the information and the documents reach ISD Media Today, so they are published. The regular delays in getting materials to your colleagues at ISD media will only undermine the potential efficacy of this very useful tool.”

He urged the general public who want to validate the information about Government works that they may come across, to visit the new website for the information they need.

On his part, the Acting Chief Information Officer of the ISD, Mr. David Owusu-Amoah urged Ghanaians to make use of the Ghana Today platform and to be vigilant in their consumption of online content.

He said it is important that “we all take responsibility for the information we consume and share and be mindful of the impact of false information on our society whiles working together to combat it.

“We all have a role to play in combating misinformation. We must all be responsible and verify information before sharing it. With this new tool, we hope to empower Ghanaians to take an active role in the fight against fake news.”

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Mr Amoah, said that “at the inception of the ISD, there was no need to worry about misinformation.”

However, today due to the proliferation of news outlets, the struggle is against misinformation.”

Mrs Adiza Ofori-Adu, Head, Media Division, ISD, said the website would enrich dissemination of information on government’s projects and urged media houses to depend on it for authentic stories.

The ISD was established in the latter part of 1939, some 84 years ago, as a branch of the Colonial Government Secretariat dedicated to conveying news on the second World War to the people of the then Gold Coast through weekly journal.

 

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Police nab 6 in connection with killing of soldier in Ashaiman

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Soldiers, Ashaiman, Newscenta, 6 arrested, Trooper Imoro Sherrif, police investigations,

Six persons have been arrested on different dates and at various locations within Ashiaman and its environs in connection with the murder of Trooper Imoro Sherrif, a soldier.

A statement issued by the police indicates that on March 4, Police received information that a male adult had been found lying dead at Ashiaman-Taifa in the Greater Accra Region.

A team of Police officers proceeded to the said location and confirmed the incident.

Police immediately commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim.

The officers cordoned off the scene and called in the specialist Police Crime Scene team to process the scene for forensic analysis.

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The Crime Scene Team retrieved a number of items, including a knife with blood stains on it and a backpack.

In the backpack, Police found a Samsung tablet, an Apple laptop, a military uniform with the name tag “Imoro”, eight other items of clothing, as well as a Ghana card and a Health Insurance card bearing the name Imoro Sherrif.

Judging from the contents of the backpack, the police suspected the victim could be a soldier, and in line with Police standard operating procedure for handling institution-based victims, the Military was accordingly notified of the incident and some military personnel came to identify the deceased to Police as Imoro Sheriff, a soldier.

The body of the deceased was thereafter conveyed to a hospital for preservation and autopsy.

As part of the investigation, an intelligence operation was immediately launched within Ashiaman and other strategic locations of interest to follow up on all relevant leads on the case.

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On the same day, consistent with Ghanaian tradition and as part of the investigation process, a team of police officers after identifying the residence of the parents of the deceased, visited them, commiserated with them and assured them of a thorough investigation into the matter.

During the visit, the parents informed the Police that the deceased was stationed at Sunyani but had come to Accra on a course.

Investigations further revealed that on March 3, the deceased had visited a female friend at Ashaiman Newtown at about 10:30pm and left the place in the middle of the night at about 1:30 am, on March 4.

After almost a week of painstaking intelligence-led operations, on March 9, the police arrested suspects Safianu Musah alias Dayorgu and Ibrahim Abdul Rakib at their hideouts in Ashaiman.

Two other suspects, Samuel Tetteh alias Wiper and Abubakar Sadick alias Birdman were also arrested at their hideouts on March 10.

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Two additional suspects, Yussif Mohammed and Abdul Gafaru Abdul Karim were arrested on March 11 and 12, respectively.

Further investigation has established that suspects Samuel Tetteh and Abubakar Sadick at about 1:45 am on March 4, 2023 attacked the deceased at Ashiaman-Taifa in an attempt to rob him of his phone and a backpack.

The deceased, however, resisted and struggled with the suspects. During the struggle, suspect Samuel Tetteh pulled out a knife and stabbed the deceased in the arm, snatched his phone and bolted leaving the deceased with the knife stuck in his arm.

A postmortem examination was performed on the deceased’s body on March 8, after which the pathologist gave the verbal cause of death as exsanguination and laceration of major vessels of the left arm consistent with the stabbed injury.

Investigations also revealed that suspects Samuel Tetteh and Abubakar Sadick sold the phone which they had robbed from the deceased to suspect Ibrahim Abdul Rakib who later sold it to suspect Safianu Musah.

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Suspect Safianu Musah is being evasive as to the whereabouts of the phone and claims to have sold it to suspect Yussif Mohammed and later to suspect Abdul Gafaru Abdul Karim.

Both suspects have been arrested and are assisting in investigation to recover the phone.

On March 12, a team of police officers led by the Tema Regional Police Commander visited the family of the deceased and briefed them on the investigations done so far.

The Police commended all police officers at all levels of Command, especially the crack police intelligence and investigation teams as well as the Ashiaman District Police Command for their professionalism and meticulous dedication, working around the clock to unravel this case.

The Police assured the public, especially the family of the deceased, that all the suspects are in Police custody and will be put before the court on Monday, March 13, for justice.

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NIA to issue numbers to babies at 6 weeks to end age falsification

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NIA, Newscenta, age falsification, babies, PIN, 6 weeks, immunization,

All is set for the rollout of measures to end age falsification, a fundamental aspect of the National Identification Authority’s (NIA) drive to compile a single credible national identification database for Ghana.

March 31 take-off date

According to Vice-President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, all things being equal, the issuance of Ghana Card personal identification number (PIN) to newborn babies is expected to commence on March 31, 2023.

Ghana Card to be issued to them at age 6

But they can only be issued Ghana Cards at six years because that is the time their fingerprints are fully developed to enable biometric capture.

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Prevalence of age falsification in Ghana

This stage of the NIA’s work is critical as it begins the process of eliminating age falsification experienced in football, civil service recruitment, job retention, unilateral postponement of retirement, high level corporate management jobs, sports competitions, qualification for foreign scholarships for post-graduate degrees, and enlistment into the security forces, where a lower age is a precondition for eligibility, consideration, acceptance, retention and promotion.

PIN to be issued 6 weeks after birth

Information on the system indicates that the issuances of the PIN will take place during immunisation of the baby, which takes place six weeks after birth.

Immunisation schedule in Ghana

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The current Expanded Programme on Immunisation schedule recommends Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) at birth.

A dose of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is given at birth followed by subsequent immunisations at  six, 10 and 14 weeks.

Role of baby naming ceremonies

The six-week period before issuing Ghana Card PIN to babies is to give parents ample time to perform naming ceremonies, a vital Ghanaian culture.

Therefore, by the time the baby is due for immunisation in six weeks, the name of the baby is expected to be ready to facilitate the issuance of Ghana Card PIN.

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Data captured by GHS

The day a baby is born, Ghana Health Service (GHS) system captures the date, time and place of birth, gender, weight at birth, and the name of parents into its database and same information is recorded on the weighing card of the baby.

Mother should go to immunisation with Ghana Card

Therefore, the mother of a new baby is expected to visit a health facility for immunisation six weeks after giving birth with her Ghana Card and the name of the baby.

A GHS official at the health facility will take the mother’s Ghana Card number and record the PIN.

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Live photo of mother and baby

The GHS health official will also take a live photo of the mother and a separate live photo of the baby.

Information to be transmitted to NIA

The live photos of the mother and her baby, date of birth, time of birth, place of birth, gender, weight at birth of the baby and the name of the parents will then be transmitted electronically to the NIA through an application programming interface (API).

Gadgets supplied to all health facilities

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All health facilities have been provided with electronic gadgets with the API installed and designated officials trained on how to undertake the process.

Live biometric verification of mother

The NIA will then undertake biometric verification of the mother using the live photo taken at the health facility and her Ghana Card PIN.

Retrieving mother’s digital identity from NIA’s database

The NIA will also verify the photos to establish that they are live photos and then use the Ghana Card PIN of the mother to retrieve her digital identity from its database.

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Verifying biographic information

The NIA system will also verify the biographic information of the mother, comprising full name, date of birth, gender, citizenship, digital address, names of mother and father, hometown, phone number, occupation, and languages spoken.

Comparison of live photo with facial biometric data in NIA database

The NIA will then compare the live photo taken at the health facility with the facial biometric data in its system.

If the data matches and the mother is a Ghanaian, then the NIA will move to the next step.

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Data mismatch will abrogate process

However, if the data of the mother transmitted from the health facility does not match the data in the NIA system, the process is abrogated.

Process will be suspended if mother is a foreigner

Also, if the data matches but the mother is not a Ghanaian, the NIA will abrogate the process because babies of foreigners are not to be issued PIN.

NIA to send response to health facility

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When the process is abrogated because the data of the mother transmitted from the health facility does not match the data in the NIA’s database or the mother is not a Ghanaian, the NIA will send a response to the health facility through the API.

But, if the data matches and the mother is a Ghanaian, the NIA will go ahead and process the information on the baby.

Father to go through process if mother is a foreigner

If the mother is not a Ghanaian but the father is, then the father needs to go through the live verification process, instead of the mother, for the issuance of a national ID number to be given to the child.

Verification of baby’s data

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After successfully verifying the mother, the NIA will also verify the data of the baby transmitted from the health facility to establish whether it already exists in its database or not.

Process to be abrogated if baby’s data already exists in NIA’s database

If the verification shows that the data of the baby already exists in the NIA’s database, the process is abrogated and a response sent to the health facility.

Baby’s data to be linked to mother’s data in NIA’s database

However, if the outcome of the search shows that the data of the baby is not already in the system, then the NIA will link the data of the baby to the mother’s data in the NIA’s system.

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NIA to generate PIN for baby

The NIA system will then generate a PIN for the baby, which will be linked to the mother’s Ghana Card PIN and then shared with GHS.

Live verification done digitally and in real time

The live verification process of the mother and child takes place digitally and in real time.

Live verification data distributed to all relevant authorities digitally

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The data is distributed to all relevant authorities digitally and within seconds, with each data set bearing the same verification code and tailored to what data they are entitled to receive by law.

Baby’s PIN added to GHS information system

The GHS then adds the baby’s PIN to the information it has also captured about the mother into its system.

Child to be taken to NIA centre at age 6

When the child turns six, the mother has to take the baby to the nearest NIA registration centre.

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Retrieving baby’s data and updating it with fingerprints, iris, and photo

At this point, the baby’s data captured during immunisation at six weeks will be retrieved from the NIA database and updated with biometrics of fingerprints, iris, and photo.

Ghana Card printed for child with same PIN

The NIA will then print a Ghana Card for the child at age six with the same PIN issued six weeks after birth.

What if the mother dies before six weeks?

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In the unfortunate event of the mother dying as a result of giving birth to the child or any other causes before the second immunisation, any other family member who has a Ghana Card, including the father, can go through the same process for the NIA to issue a PIN to the baby.

Role of Births and Deaths Registry

The Births and Deaths Registry will then use the Ghana Card PIN issued to the baby and the relevant information captured in the NIA’s system to print birth certificate for the child.

1.2m children under age 5 not in any official document

An estimated 1.2 million Ghanaian children under the age of five are not registered in any official document.

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1 in 4 children never registered in Ghana

The birth of about every 1 in 4 (28.89%) children in Ghana has never been registered.

Birth registration and certification was lowest among children born to young mothers (15 – 19 years), children whose mothers have no formal education, mothers who reside in rural areas, and mothers in the poorest wealth quintile.

The laws of Ghana as mandated by the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1965 (Act 301) requires that all births (and deaths) that occur in Ghana be registered.

Registering a birth soon after it’s occurrence is important to ensure access to services, reduce misreporting, and produce accurate and timely vital statistics.

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For an individual to have proof of legal identity and access to a range of rights and services, a birth certificate or national identity card should be issued when a birth is registered.

Society first acknowledges a child’s existence and identity through birth registration.

A birth certificate or national identity card is proof of legal identity and is the basis upon which children can establish a nationality, avoid the risk of statelessness, and seek protection from violence and exploitation.

Functioning civil registration systems are the main vehicles through which a legal identity for all can be achieved.

Civil registration systems that are operating effectively compile vital statistics, which are used to compare the estimated total number of births in a country with the absolute number of registered births during a given period.

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It is, therefore, necessary that all births are registered, and even more critical that the registration of a birth is followed by the issuance of a birth certificate.

Additionally, home births and births that were not assisted by a medical professional were observed to have the lowest proportion of registered and certified births. Furthermore, the birth of children who are less than a year old was significantly more likely not to be registered or issued with a birth certificate.

Registering the birth of every child, most preferably at birth, is not only a basic and fundamental human right, but also has legal implications.

The records on the newborn will automatically be sent to the Births and Deaths Registry, and the National Identification Authority for the issuance of a national ID number without delay.

Universal birth registration is a component of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, but will need to accelerate significantly to meet the 2030 goal.

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