Detroit police get go-ahead to use facial recognition

DETROIT — A board that oversees Detroit police has approved the use of facial recognition technology to investigate crimes.

The software has been used since 2018, but police chief James Craig wanted a permanent policy, The Detroit News reported..

Images from video surveillance are fed into software, which can search databases and social media for a possible match. Craig says three staff members must concur with a match before the information is shared with investigators.

The American Civil Liberties Union had urged the Board of Police Commissioners to reject the policy. Critics say facial recognition amounts to mass racial profiling in a city that is about 80% Black.

Commissioners voted 8-3 to approve the policy on Thursday.

Craig, who is Black, says the technology is used to “keep the community safe.”

Niger starts building of oil pipeline to Benin coast

NIAMEY, Niger — Niger has started construction on an oil pipeline that will link it to the coast through West African neighbor Benin, a project that Niger’s president said will bolster the country’s economic development.

President Issoufou Mahamadou called the 1,231-mile pipeline one of Niger’s most important projects since independence and an important step in the Sahel nation’s oil production. About 810 miles ill run within Niger and the remainder in Benin.

Oil accounts for 4% of GDP in Niger. By 2022, it’s expected to represent 24%, according to the government.

China National Petroleum Corp., which has operated in Niger since 2011, was tasked with building the pipeline along with the West African Oil Pipeline Co.

— Compiled from The Associated Press

The first phase of construction requires an investment of $4 billion between 2019 and 2021, starting at a site about 60 miles from Agadem in the Diffa region. The completed project is expected to cost $7 billion.

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