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Global economic crisis felt in Pakistan: Daily

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Islamabad: The international impact of the stock market collapse was felt in Pakistan, said a daily here on Tuesday.

us-Stock1An editorial “Black August” in the News International said that following the panic in the international stock markets created by a slowdown of the Chinese economy, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE-100) plummeted by 1,300 points near the close of trading on Monday, down around 4 percent on a single day.

Analysts have blamed the panicking small investors and the exit of foreign investors from the market. Some suggest foreign investors made profits by selling Pakistani stocks as they suffered serious losses in other emerging markets.

The daily said that market capitalization fell by Rs.300 billion.

“In addition to the Chinese slowdown, the international downturn is also being attributed to the fall in international commodity prices, uncertainty over when US Federal Reserve might raise interest rates and the Greek economic collapse.”

The editorial said that the crisis started when the Chinese government decided to devalue the yuan by around 2 percent two weeks ago which sparked concerns over low growth in Chinese exports. Experts have now predicted that the devaluation of the Chinese currency is likely to flood the market with cash.

“The biggest impact was felt by Chinese stock markets where the Chinese Shanghai Composite index came down by 8.5 percent on Monday. This is the biggest one-day slump in China since 2007.”

“…The impact of what is being called ‘Black Monday’ is being felt across the globe with KSE-100 being a small part of the global collapse… While some observers are calling it a ‘correction’ in the global markets, Monday has shown an underlying instability in the global financial system,” said the daily.

The editorial went on to say that the three key nodes of the global economy are in a steady crisis. “Europe, the US and China are all facing serious problems.”

“There are no immediate remedies available in the stock market as the international impact of the collapse will be felt in Pakistan.”

It added that the month of August has wiped at least $5 trillion off the global economy.

“Is this a full-blown economic crisis?,” the daily asked and added: “It is too early to say.”

“But it does say something about the volatility of the global economy that a decrease in the value of the Chinese currency has set off questions about the entire economic recovery story that has been painted since the last global economic crisis in 2007,” it said.

(IANS)

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Shanghai Airport Gets Check-In With Facial Recognition Machines

Increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

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Shanghai,
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate. VOA

It’s now possible to check in automatically at Shanghai Hongqiao airport using facial recognition technology, part of an ambitious rollout of facial recognition systems in China that has raised privacy concerns as Beijing pushes to become a global leader in the field.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport unveiled self-service kiosks for flight and baggage check-in, security clearance and boarding powered by facial recognition technology, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Similar efforts are under way at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Shanghai,
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012

Many airports in China already use facial recognition to help speed security checks, but Shanghai’s system, which debuted Monday, is being billed as the first to be fully automated.

“It is the first time in China to achieve self-service for the whole check-in process,” said Zhang Zheng, general manager of the ground services department for Spring Airlines, the first airline to adopt the system at Hongqiao airport. Currently, only Chinese identity card holders can use the technology.

Spring Airlines, Shanghai said Tuesday that passengers had embraced automated check-in, with 87 percent of 5,017 people who took Spring flights on Monday using the self-service kiosks, which can cut down check-in times to less than a minute and a half.

Shanghai,
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

Across greater China, facial recognition is finding its way into daily life. Mainland police have used facial recognition systems to identify people of interest in crowds and nab jaywalkers, and are working to develop an integrated national system of surveillance camera data.

Chinese media are filled with reports of ever-expanding applications: A KFC outlet in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, where it’s possible to pay using facial recognition technology; a school that uses facial recognition cameras to monitor students’ reactions in class; and hundreds of ATMs in Macau equipped with facial recognition devices to curb money laundering.

Also Read: Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Person With Fake Passpost At The US Airport 

But increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

“Authorities are using biometric and artificial intelligence to record and track people for social control purposes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We are concerned about the increasing integration and use of facial recognition technologies throughout the country because it provides more and more data points for the authorities to track people.” (VOA)