El UNIVERSAL (Mexico)

Worldcrunch

MEXICO CITY – Let's call it spot-a-cop!

The Mexico City’s Ministry of Public Security has dubbed it Mi Policia (My Police), a smartphone app launched this week that uses GPS technology to allow smartphone users to communicate with their local police directly, and in real-time, reports El Universal. This is believed to be the first such app in the world.

According to Jesus Almeida Rodriguez, head of the Mexico City Ministry of Public Security, who unveiled the app this week, about three million people could potentially benefit from Mi Policia.

There are two options on the app. The first one is “emergency” – for victims, people at risk or who have just witnessed a crime. It puts them in contact with local police.

The second option is “quadrant location” – it displays a map and uses geolocation to show the user where the closest law enforcement agents are, and how to contact them.

Rodriguez said that 2,500 policemen had been trained to respond to Mi Policia users in the 847 quadrants that make up Mexico City. The app will function 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, he said.

Although Mexico City is probably the safest city in Mexico and has been spared from the drug-related violence that plagues the rest of the country, one can only hope the drug cartels don’t use the app to locate and ambush police officers.

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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