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  • LLVision(BEIJING) -- Fixed facial-recognition cameras have been in use to fight public toilet paper theft and to catch beer festival-going criminals in China, and now the technology is being mounted onto wearable glasses to eliminate any blind spots for crimes.Since the beginning of China’s Lunar New Year travel season, police at Zhengzhou East Railway Station have caught seven fugitives in connection with major criminal cases and identified 26 people attempting to travel using other people’s IDs, according to People's Daily, China's official state newspaper.The station is the first to adopt facial-recognition glasses for ID verification. The station, one of the busiest in China, has its own police force. In fact, almost 4 million people will travel through there throughout the Lunar New Year holiday.William Nee, a China researcher with Amnesty International, told ABC News that this technology may not bode well for human rights in China. "On the one hand, as the Chinese government claims, this technology could indeed potentially help decrease crime at train stations and improve public safety. On the other hand, the Chinese government could easily use this technology to more effectively clamp down upon people trying to protect their rights, such as petitioners and human rights defenders. There’s already some evidence that human rights defenders and ethnic minorities might be singled out for profiling using facial-recognition technology."Nee added, "Since there are already many surveillance cameras in many parts of China already, this move to equip individual police officers with facial-recognition cameras probably shouldn't be seen as a major shift in policing strategy. However, it could make the surveillance and policing more effective. In the past, if a suspect were identified, it could still take minutes to deploy police to apprehend him or her, but now the time gap could be bridged, as police officers on the ground will now have that capability."China has been building an ambitious artificial intelligence sector in recent years. In 2017, the country’s public security bureau published a master plan to enhance the police force, including developing smart glasses, helmets and wristbands. The Muslim-majority Xinjiang region in the country’s west has been called a police state by critics for its increasingly pervasive surveillance system.Beijing-based LLVision Technology Co. told ABC News that it is the developer behind the glasses used by Zhengzhou railway police. In a publicity video the company published in December on China’s popular messaging platform WeChat, Wu Fei, the company's CEO, claims LLVision Technology is the only one in the world to be working with public security in real-time policing.The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has a capacity to match faces in a database of 10,000 suspects in as little as 100 milliseconds. The company also develops wearable augmented reality glasses for medical and industrial use, such as remote-monitoring surgical operations.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- A Russian ship carrying 127 passengers in the northern Pacific Ocean has been trapped in ice for days off the coast of Japan.The ship, the Igor Farkhutdinov, was sailing from the Kuril Islands to the Sakhalin peninsula on Russia’s Pacific coast when it became stuck in ice up to 3 feet thick, Sakhalin’s regional administration said in a statement published Thursday.There is no immediate danger to the passengers, according to the director of the shipping company that runs the ferry. Company Director Sergey Kondrashin said there is sufficient food and water aboard and enough fuel for a week.“The passengers are provided with everything they need. The decision has been taken to feed them for free,” Kondrashin said, according to the regional administration's statement.It's unclear exactly how many days the ship has been trapped, but it left port Monday for a journey that normally takes a day -- and it was still trapped in the ice on Thursday.The ship left port Monday, the administration said, with Kondrashin adding that he hoped the ship would be free in the next few hours and that it would arrive in Sakhalin by Friday morning.The captain is experienced, and similar incidents have happened in previous years, he said.“Now the boat is breaking through it, trying to get out into clear water,” Kondrashin said. “As the satellite maps are showing, there isn't much to go.”Sakhalin’s regional transport ministry said it was in contact with the crew and that if the ice conditions worsened, an ice-breaker from the Russian port of Vladivostok was ready to assist. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- North Korea threw a choreographed military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday -- the eve of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.The display of might included hundreds of goose-stepping soldiers in disciplined formation and rows of missiles and tanks to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s military."As long as the imperialism remains on the earth and as long as the anti-North Korea policy of the United States continues, the mission of our military, which is to protect our country and people and secure peace, can never change," North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sporting a black coat and black fedora, said from a podium alongside wife Ri Sul-Joo and senior military commanders.The government had no live broadcast of the parade, which started at 10:30 a.m. local time in Kim Il-sung Square. Instead, it chose to air an edited version of the parade later in the afternoon.The video showed a parade that seemed to have been shorter than previous ones. Pyongyang's most recent parade was last April, during which officials unveiled five new kinds of missiles. The North also paraded ICBMs this year.Seoul welcomed the lower-profile parade, and some analysts said the North was intentionally trying not to provoke South Korea amid the recent sprit of detente that includes North Korea's participation in the South Korea Olympics starting this week. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Woohae Cho/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) -- Defense drones, military officers and hundreds of surveillance cameras will be in place as the Winter Olympics kick off in South Korea this week amid omnipresent nuclear tensions with North Korea. But organizers are also working to keep the atmosphere fun.“They want people to enjoy the games. They don’t want it to look like it’s a military camp or a police camp,” Mike Evanoff, U.S. assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, told ABC News ahead of the games, where more than 240 American athletes will compete. The U.S. Department of State works closely with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the host country.His bureau has coordinated security between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the host country at every Olympics since the Summer Games in Montreal in 1976, according to official reports.“So they’re here and they’re ready. But, at the same time, we want everybody to feel comfortable,” Evanoff added, referring to the blanket of military and police personnel scheduled to keep watch.An estimated 60,000 South Korean personnel, including 50,000 soldiers, will be deployed throughout the Olympic venues, nearly twice as many as there were on hand at the 2016 games in Rio, Brazil, authorities said.In addition, there will be more than 800 security cameras in place as well as K-9 units, special forces and anti-kidnapping squads available to ensure public safety, according to authorities.“We need it. That’s the way it is right now,” Evanoff said when asked about the presence of attack drones. He said that, for every major event, there’s going to be an "eye in the sky.”The drones, which security officials said will be capable of snatching possible bomb-carrying enemy drones out of the air, have been used for major U.S. events, including past Super Bowls, according to Evanoff.“For the Koreans, this is a big event for them for using drones,” Evanoff said.Officials from the CIA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will also be working in conjunction with South Korea amid anxiety over possible provocations from North Korea.Members of the South Korean military held anti-terrorism drills in Pyeongchang in preparation for different threat scenarios last month.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Despite previous signs of an openness from the U.S., North Korea on Thursday said they do not have any interest in meeting members of the American delegation during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang beginning this week.Vice President Mike Pence, who landed in South Korea overnight Thursday (U.S. time), is leading the U.S. delegation and had expressed some willingness to meet with North Korean officials should the opportunity arise."I haven’t requested any meetings, but we’ll see what happens,” he said Tuesday.The opportunity was shot down by North Korean officials on Thursday."We have never begged for dialogue with the U.S. and will be the same in the future," said Cho Yong-sam, director-general of the North American department of North Korea's foreign ministry, according to Korean news outlet Yonhap and translated by ABC News. "We clearly state that we have no intention to meet with the U.S. side during our visit to South Korea."Upon his arrival in South Korea on Thursday, Pence met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and briefly gave remarks to the press. He did not address a meeting with North Korean officials, but did reiterate the U.S.'s support for the "shared objective of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.""Allow me to assure you and the people of South Korea that the U.S. will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in maximum pressure until North Korea finally and permanently and irreversibly abandons nuclear and ballistic ambitions," Pence said Thursday.Defense Secretary James Mattis, in a press conference Wednesday, told reporters, "Vice President Pence is quite capable of making the call on that there, while he’s in Korea," when asked about a potential meeting.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will not be present at the games, which began on Wednesday -- though the opening ceremony will be held Friday. Pence is expected to be in attendance.Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader's younger sister and a close confidante, will be the highest-ranking diplomat attending the games on behalf of North Korea.Pence took a harder stance on Wednesday when he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He announced in a joint statement the U.S. would soon announce "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever."The stance on North Korea of President Donald Trump, whose war of words with Kim Jong Un has quieted lately, has not changed, White Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said most recently in December.Trump has not tweeted about North Korea or Kim Jong Un since Jan. 14, when he took issue with a Wall Street Journal report that quoted the president as saying he has a good relationship with Kim. Trump said the actual quote was that he could have a good relationship with the leader, not that he does.Twelve days earlier, the president took to Twitter to make the infamous claim that he too has "a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"Cho addressed Trump's predilection for bombastic speech in declining any chance to meet with Pence or the U.S. delegation while in South Korea."U.S. had better realize that their reckless words and actions only show their embarrassing position, and behave appropriately," Cho said. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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