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New Paris Surveillance Cameras Crack Down On Crime

A first wave of 200 new CCTV cameras were installed in the French capital this week. By next summer, there will be more than 1,000 such surveillance cameras. Still, Paris peeping is nothing compared to London's much bigger version of Big Brother.

By June 2012, 1,455 CCTV cameras will keep an eye on the streets of Paris (ebrkut)
By June 2012, 1,455 CCTV cameras will keep an eye on the streets of Paris (ebrkut)


LES ÉCHOS/Worldcrunch

PARIS - Call it the Parisian police force's version of cinéma vérité. In a major new effort to crack down on street crime, some 200 new CCTV (closed-circuit) surveillance cameras were switched on in the French capital. By June 2012, there are slated to be 1,455 across the city's sprawling neighborhoods, plus additional ones deployed on the banks of the Seine river.

The locations for these new cameras have already been chosen, after consultation with the elected leaders of Paris' "arrondissements' (administrative districts). Location is a sensitive issue: if the first wave of cameras appears to focus on upscale arrondissements, officials promise that eventually "the distribution among districts will be satisfactory."

The 20 district police stations will be equipped with surveillance computers connected to the cameras via 480 kilometers of optical fiber. In addition, 2,500 trained police officers and firefighters will be allowed to view images captured by about 9,500 cameras located in the Parisian metro system and train stations. To allay fears about the protection of privacy, tapes will be destroyed after 30 days and an ethics committee will be created.

So far, the rather obsolete Parisian system of CCTV was mainly devoted to monitoring traffic. Cameras will now help to deter crime and help the police solve cases. Paris is still far behind London and its 65,000 CCTV cameras.

Read the full story in French by Laurence Albert

Photo - ebrkut

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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food / travel

When Racism Poisons Italy's Culinary Scene

This is the case of chef Mareme Cisse, a black woman, who was called a slur after a couple found out that she was the one who would be preparing their meal.

Photo of Mareme Cisse cooking

Mareme Cisse in the kitchen of Ginger People&Food

Caterina Suffici


TURIN — Guess who's not coming to dinner. It seems like a scene from the American Deep South during the decades of segregation. But this happened in Italy, in this summer of 2023.

Two Italians, in their sixties, got up from the restaurant table and left (without saying goodbye, as the owner points out), when they declared that they didn't want to eat in a restaurant where the chef was what they called: an 'n-word.'

Racists, poor things. And ignorant, in the sense of not knowing basic facts. They don't realize that we are all made of mixtures, come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. And that food, of course, are blends of different ingredients and recipes.

The restaurant is called Ginger People&Food, and these visitors from out of town probably didn't understand that either.

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