Around the world, systems of identification that employ automatic recognition of individuals’ faces, fingerprints, or irises are gaining ground. Biometric ID systems are increasingly being deployed at international border checkpoints, by governments seeking to implement national ID schemes, and by private-sector actors. Yet as biometric data is collected from more and more individuals, privacy concerns about the use of this technology are also attracting attention. Below are several examples of the year’s most prominent debates around biometrics.
- FRANCE: In early March, the French National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) passed a law proposing the creation of a Read more…
One of the best things about covering payments news is that you never run out of stories where various myopic governments attempt to restrict the flow of cash in a squeeze for revenue.
France becomes the latest as Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault plans to erect new controls on cash transactions in order to tighten up tax collection and meet the country’s optimistic budget deficit target of 3% of GDP. The government needs euros and they need some fast.
In the government plan labeled “Fight against fraud,” France’s fiscal residents would see the cash transaction limit decrease from €3,000 to €1,000 per purchase. However, in a nod to the exiled wealthy and what Wolf Richter calls the “Depardieu exception,” those fiscal residents of a country other than France would have their cash transaction limits reduced from €15,000 to €10,000 per purchase. Legislative measures could be Read more…
For the third time in 48 hours, the south of France was hit by an earthquake.
The latest measured 4.0 on the Richter scale and hit the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence area late on Monday afternoon.
Like the earthquake which hit late on Sunday evening measuring 4.9, the epicentre was just north east of the small town of Barcelonnette.
The latest earthquake was weaker and “felt slightly by locals” according to the French centre for seismology.
A third earthquake hit the western Charente-Maritime region on Sunday morning with a magnitude of 3.8.
Earthquakes are fairly rare in France and tend Read more…
The Huffington Post
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has halted oil shipments to Britain and France, the Oil Ministry said Sunday, in an apparent pre-emptive blow against the European Union after the bloc imposed sanctions on Iran’s crucial fuel exports.
The EU imposed tough sanctions against Iran last month, which included a freeze of the country’s central bank assets and an oil embargo set to begin in July. Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi had warned earlier this month that Tehran could cut off oil exports to “hostile” European nations. The 27-nation EU accounts for about 18 percent of Iran’s oil exports.
However, the Iranian action was not likely to have any significant direct impact on European supplies because both Britain and France had already moved last year to sharply curtail Read more…
“Over the three-year period studied, incidents of either government or social harassment were reported against Christians in 130 countries (66 percent) and against Muslims in 117 countries (59 percent),” said the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life study.
In 2009, governments in 101 nations, more than half the globe, used at least some measure of force against religious groups. A year earlier only 91 nations had done so, the report said.
As of 2009, more than 2.2 billion people, or nearly a third of the world’s population of 6.9 billion, lived in countries where religious restrictions had risen substantially since Read more…
In a piece entitled, US and NATO prepare final assault on Qaddafi, DebkaFile cites military sources for its contention that NATO powers are finalizing plans for a “large-scale, all-out military bid to kill or oust” Colonel Gaddafi.
“The coming coup de grace, expected in the next couple of weeks, is the hottest topic of discussion in the corridors of power and high-level military and intelligence get-togethers in London, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Oslo, The Hague and Rome. It is expected to start in a couple of weeks with French and British troop landings on Libyan soil, to be followed in its last stages of by Read more…