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Monday, September 18, 2006

News of Interest for 9/18/06

Big Brother is shouting at you
"Big Brother is not only watching you - now he's barking orders too. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly."
Skid Row surveillance camera network to be unveiled
"If you're passing through L-A's skid row area, smile. You may be on camera. A 200-thousand dollar network of police surveillance cameras will be unveiled today in the downtown district."
Camera aimed at curbing crime
'I think it's a great idea. I'd like to have cameras in all of downtown,” said Lewis S. Pacheco, owner of Pacheco's Jewelry & Gifts at 20 Taunton Green. “I don't think it's an invasion of privacy. I think a downtown camera is a deterrent to criminals. If someone knows they are being watched or thinks they are being watched, they are less likely to commit a crime,” he said. “We have to do something to clean up the area. We can't afford more police, so if we can use technology to our advantage, why not use it?” Pacheco said.'
Business and Islam: Allies Against Anarchy in Somalia
'This January, the moneylords decided enough was enough. When a group of clan-based warlords attacked El Maan port, north of Mogadishu, business leaders teamed up with Islamic forces who had been present for years, though mostly in the background as social service organizations. “The business community gave us their money and their lives,” said the Islamic Courts information minister, Abdulrahim Ali Modei. That alliance led to the defeat in June of the warlords, who had lost much popular support because of their banditry.'
Police used high-tech surveillance at festival
'The company estimated that they were able to cover 85 percent of the festival grounds with about a half dozen hidden cameras. One camera, for example, was mounted atop a light tower and used on “Shakedown Street,” a bustling area viewed as a problem spot for drug dealing.'
Dar university students go on strike
"University of Dar es Salam (Main Campus) engaged anti-riot police in running battles when they were protesting delayed disbursement of their education loans by the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB)."
India parades all-women UN peacekeeper force for Liberia
'"Our women going there will send two messages -- first, that women in India are on par with men, and inspire women ... wherever they go," said J.K. Sinha, director of India's 230,000-member CRPF, the world's largest paramilitary unit.'
Wal-Mart Expands RFID To 500 More Stores
'"We believe this technology, when coupled with new work processes, will deliver even more benefits than we are currently receiving," Ford said. "We are actively engaged in designing some new initiatives that will accelerate our program even further and, in so doing, create even more value for everyone involved."'
Police Chief Responds to Claims of Brutality
"Witnesses told WECT that police tased Casey Davis, Evan Pileri and Jarred Callahan. They said that police beat Davis until he was unconscious. Photographs taken by witness Kyle West showed blood in his house left from Davis' head."
US Imprisons 14,000 Detainees
"In the few short years since the first shackled Afghan shuffled off to Guantanamo, the U.S. military has created a global network of overseas prisons, its islands of high security keeping 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law."
The first bionic woman
'Today, the Washington Post reports that a new life is within reach for the first woman with bionic arm (free registration required). Claudia Mitchell lost an arm in a motorcycle accident, but she's now using a 'bionic' arm that she can control with her thoughts. This bionic arm was designed at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago with funds from DARPA. And in a separate article, the Associated Press adds that this artificial arm could provide hope for soldier amputees, such as "the 411 U.S. troops in Iraq and 37 in Afghanistan who have had wounds that cost them at least one limb." It would also help many civilians. But read more...'
Americans More Likely to be Shot by Law Enforcement than Killed by Terrorists
"With that in mind, here’s a handy ranking of the various dangers confronting America, based on the number of mortalities in each category throughout the 11-year period spanning 1995 through 2005 (extrapolated from best available data)."

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