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Switzerland

This Data-Driven Tool May Be Able To Prevent Crimes

Zurich has adopted a system that feeds past criminal information into an algorithm that can help predict when and where crimes will occur. Early indications are that it may actually be reducing crime rates.

Precobs, looking at past crimes to predict future ones
Precobs, looking at past crimes to predict future ones

ZURICH — Predicting what crimes will be committed at any given location is a special power any police department would dream about. For the past year, officers in Zurich, among other select cities, have had a tool that aims at just such a power: It's a software called Precobs (Pre Crime Observation System). Using it in select locations in the Swiss city, criminal activity was reduced by 30%, according to police results published last week.

But plenty of experts in criminal science caution that such a tool is still far from being a panacea for crime, due to its lack of serious validation.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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