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These Are The World’s Most-Surveilled Cities

This might sound like a dystopian nightmare to Western audiences, but according to Chinese citizens, it’s mostly a good thing.

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This may come as a surprise, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the global urban population overtook the rural population. At that time, the two groups were split nearly 50/50, with around 3.3 billion people apiece.

Today, the percentage of people living in urban areas has grown to over 55%, and is expected to reach 68% by 2050. Due to this trend, many of the world’s largest cities have become home to tens of millions of people.

In response to such incredible density, governments, businesses, and households have installed countless security cameras for various purposes including crime protection. To grasp the scale of this surveillance, Visual Capitalist’s Marcu Lu used data from a recent report by Comparitech to visualize the most surveilled cities in the world.

The List (Excluding China)

Excluding China for the time being, these are the world’s 10 most surveilled cities.

The top four cities all belong to India, which is the world’s second largest country by population. Surveillance cameras are playing a major role in the country’s efforts to reduce crimes against women.

Further down the list are cities from a variety of countries. One of these is Russia, which has expanded its use of surveillance cameras in recent years. Given the country’s track record of human rights violations, activists are worried that facial recognition technology could become a tool of oppression.

The only U.S. city on the list is Los Angeles, which contains some of the country’s wealthiest neighborhoods and municipalities. That includes Beverly Hills, which according to the Los Angeles Times, has over 2,000 cameras for its population of 32,500. That translates to about 62 cameras per 1,000 people, meaning that Beverly Hills would finish at #2 in the global ranking if it were listed as a separate entity.

Surveillance in China

IHS Markit estimates that as of 2021, there are over 1 billion surveillance cameras installed worldwide. The firm also believes that 54% of these cameras are located in China.

Because of limited transparency, it’s impossible to pinpoint how many cameras are actually in each Chinese city. However, if we assume that China has 540 million cameras and divide that amongst its population of 1.46 billion, we can reasonably say that there are 373 cameras per 1,000 people (figures rounded).

A limitation of this approach is that it assumes everyone in China lives in a city, which is far from reality. The most recent World Bank figures suggest that 37% of China’s population is rural, which equates to over 500 million people.

With this in mind, the number of cameras per 1,000 people in a Tier 1+ Chinese city (e.g. Shanghai) is likely far greater than 373.

More About China

China’s expansive use of cameras and facial recognition technology has been widely documented in the media. These networks enable the country’s social credit program, which gives local governments an unprecedented amount of oversight over its citizens.

For example, China’s camera networks can be used to verify ATM withdrawals, permit access into homes, and even publicly shame people for minor offences like jaywalking.

This might sound like a dystopian nightmare to Western audiences, but according to Chinese citizens, it’s mostly a good thing. In a 2018 survey of 2,209 citizens, 80% of respondents approved of social credit systems.

If you’re interested in learning more about surveillance in Chinese cities, consider this video from The Economist, which explores the opportunities and dangers of comprehensive state control.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Germany Will Execute International Court’s Arrest Warrant If Putin Enters Territory

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MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Germany said over the weekend that it is ready to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he ever travels to its territory, following the Hague-based International Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant last week related to alleged human rights abuses in Ukraine.

German Justice Minister Marco Bushman stipulated the Russian leader will be detained if he steps foot on Russian soil. “I expect that the International Criminal Court in The Hague will swiftly approach Interpol as well as the contracting states and ask them for enforcement,” Bushman told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.

This comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the ICC ruling, stressing that “no one is above the law.”

The Friday ICC statement had said that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

“Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court … issued arrest warrants against two individuals in connection with the situation in Ukraine: Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms. Maria Alekseevna Lvova-Belova,” the statement added, referencing Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

As we described earlier, the ICC warrant remains largely symbolic, given the ICC doesn’t have a police force or enforcement mechanism. Thus sovereign governments would have to take action on it (as in this case with Germany).

However, it does complicate Putin’s ability to travel to European or other capitalswhich cooperate with the ICC. This also means it could hinder peace efforts in the scenario Putin might choose to personally engage in negotiations or diplomacy in a European city.

The Kremlin has said the ICC warrant is “legally null and void” and that it doesn’t recognize the international court’s decisions. The US is also not a signatory to the ICC.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Japan’s Population In Freefall As Twice As Many People Die As Are Born

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Getty Images / Yusuke Nishizawa

Japan’s population is in freefall.

In 2022, the number of births registered in Japan plummeted to another record low last year according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health – the latest worrying statistic in a decades-long decline that the country’s authorities have failed to reverse despite their extensive efforts.

The country saw just 799,728 births in 2022 – the lowest number on record and the first ever dip below 800,000 – and about half of the number of deaths, which  at more than 1.58 million, was a record high. The number of births in Japan has nearly halved in the past 40 years: in 1982, Japan recorded more than 1.5 million births, a number which was then more than double the number of deaths. This ratio has since reversed.

As shown in the chart above, deaths have outpaced births in Japan for the past 15 years – a trend which is unlikely to reverse ever again – posing an existential problem for the (aged) leaders of the world’s third-largest economy. They now face a ballooning elderly population, along with a shrinking workforce to fund pensions and health care as demand from the aging population surges.

Japan’s population has been in steady decline since its economic boom of the 1980s and stood at 125.5 million in 2021, according to the most recent government figures.

According to CNN, Japan’s fertility rate of 1.3 is far below the rate of 2.1 required to maintain a stable population, in the absence of immigration.

The country also has one of the highest life expectancies in the world; in 2020, nearly one in 1,500 people in Japan were age 100 or older, according to government data.

These concerning trends prompted a warning in January from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that Japan is “on the brink of not being able to maintain social functions.”

“In thinking of the sustainability and inclusiveness of our nation’s economy and society, we place child-rearing support as our most important policy,” he said, adding that Japan “simply cannot wait any longer” in solving the problem of its low birth rate.

A new government agency will be set up in April to focus on the issue, with PM Kishida saying in January that he wants the government to double its spending on child-related programs. But money alone might not be able to solve the multi-pronged problem, with various social factors contributing to the low birth rate.

Japan’s high cost of living, limited space and lack of child care support in cities make it difficult to raise children, meaning fewer couples are having kids. Urban couples are also often far from extended family in other regions, who could help provide support.

In 2022, Japan was ranked one of the world’s most expensive places to raise a child, according to research from financial institution Jefferies. And yet, the country’s economy has stalled since the early 1990s, meaning frustratingly low wages and little upward mobility: the average real annual household income declined from 6.59 million yen ($50,600) in 1995 to 5.64 million yen ($43,300) in 2020, according to 2021 data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Attitudes toward marriage and starting families have also shifted in recent years, with more couples putting off both during the pandemic — and young people feeling increasingly pessimistic about the future.

In 2022, Japan was ranked one of the world’s most expensive places to raise a child, according to research from financial institution Jefferies. And yet, the country’s economy has stalled since the early 1990s, meaning frustratingly low wages and little upward mobility.

The average real annual household income declined from 6.59 million yen ($50,600) in 1995 to 5.64 million yen ($43,300) in 2020, according to 2021 data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Attitudes toward marriage and starting families have also shifted in recent years, with more couples putting off both during the pandemic — and young people feeling increasingly pessimistic about the future. Who can blame them for not feeling frisky.

It’s a familiar story throughout East Asia, where South Korea’s fertility rate — already the world’s lowest — dropped yet again last year in the latest setback to the country’s efforts to boost its declining population.

Meanwhile, in January China just lost its title as the world’s most populous country to India after its population shrank in 2022 for the first time since the 1960s.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Report: Prince Harry To Livestream Struggle Session With Trauma Doctor

The worldwide privacy tour continues

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Steve Watson

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Prince Harry is planning to livestream a sit down session with a ‘trauma expert’ to go over the ‘struggles’ he has had in the past, according to a report in the New York Post.

The report notes that Harry will chat with with Canadian doctor and author Gabor Maté in an “intimate conversation,” and you can watch him whine and complain about his hardships for the low low price of just $33.99.

The event appears to be an attempt by Harry and the publisher of his bizarre memoir to shift more units. The price of the book, titled ‘Spare’ has already been slashed in half.

Maté commented about the upcoming event, noting “In ‘Spare,’ Prince Harry is very open about his mental-health challenges, as I have been about my own in my books.”

“Such a public conversation, I hope, will help encourage more openness around mental health and contribute to remove the stigma around what we call mental illness,” the doctor continued, adding “I think a discussion of loss, trauma and healing is of interest to people at all levels of society.”

News of the struggle session comes on the heels of the Duke and his wife Meghan Markle being lampooned on South Park, leading to the pair reportedly considering suing the show’s creators.

No doubt this latest stunt will send their popularity plummeting even further. The duo are already more unpopular than Prince Andrew, who had a friendship with the now deceased convicted pedo and sex trafficker to the elites Jeffrey Epstein.

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