Saturday 25 May 2013

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In 2013

Fueled by the drug trade, ruthless gang violence, poverty, and tremendous political corruption, the countries of Latin America continue to lead the world in murder rate per capita as we begin 2013.
Check out this list of the world’s most dangerous cities heading into 2013:

10. Karachi, Pakistan

Downtown Karachi (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan.  It’s also its largest seaport and financial hub.  Although Karachi is home to between 14-21 million people, it has also become wracked with lawlessness and crime.  This former capital of Pakistan has been overrun by political violence, gang shootings, and even suicide bombings.
While it’s per Capita murder rate is low compared to some of the other “murder capitals” on this list, Karachi is the most dangerous of the world’s mega-cities, with a murder rate of 12.3 per 100,000 residents (Al Jazeera).  None of the world’s 13 largest cities come within 25% of Karachi’s exceptional murder rate.
Amongst the political in-fighting and lawlessness, Karachi has become especially famous for its motorbike riding assassins, known as “target killers”.  For $700-$1000, these target killers will assassinate police, protesters, businessmen, and political opponents.
The assassin in the video below claims to have killed 30-35 people, and the number of target killers in Karachi has risen from 6 to 600 over recent years.  Expect the situation to much worse before it gets better.
Absolutely Chilling Interview With A “Target Killer”

9. Mogadishu, Somalia

Mogadishu (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A perennial contender for most dangerous city in the world, Mogadishu has been the scene of on-again off-again urban warfare for much of the past 2 decades. Remember Black Hawk Down, the 2001 war movie starring that hunk of cheese Josh Hartnett?  That was Mogadishu.
Of course, that was a long time ago.  While there has been plenty of fighting since then, since August 2011, Somalia has ousted the Islamic extremists that were controlling a large portion of the city.  Since then, they’ve been in rebuilding mode.  It’s even safe enough now that TurkishAirlines is flying in and out of the city.

Some (crazy?) journalists are even hailing it as a beachfront paradise, with fresh lobsters and new restaurants and hotels opening up by the sparkling Indian Ocean.  In June 2012, a brave entrepreneur even opened up Mogadishu’s 1st dry cleaners since the early nineties.
So, if you don’t mind sky high levels of both violent & petty crime, lawlessness, a lack of modern infrastructure, bombed out and bullet ridden ruins, walking around with armed guards, and the occasional suicide bombing, a trip to Mogadishu might be right for you.  Like Somali spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman told the Associated Press, Mogadishu is safer these days than Kabul or Baghdad – a ringing endorsement if we’ve ever heard one.

8. Belém, Brazil

Belem (Photo credit: Ana Luiza Oliveira)
While Brazil has been recognized as of late for its role as an emerging economic force, the countries’ increasing prosperity has meant that more and more of its citizens can afford cocaine – Brazilians now consume around 18% of the world’s supply.
Belém is a natural gateway for cocaine streaming in from the surrounding countries of Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru.  The dense amazonian jungle surrounding this city makes it perfect for smuggling in drugs, where they can be exported all over Brazil and around the world.  The rise in cocaine use in the country has surely contributed to Belém’s place as one of the most dangerous cities in the world
The violence isn’t limited to drug killings; people are even murdered for trying to protect theAmazon rainforest.  Cattle barons have been known to hire professional assassins to take out activists, land reform advocates, and smaller farmers who refuse to give into extortion and strong arm tactics.

7. Chihuahua, Mexico

Chihuahua (Photo credit: Luz María Nieto Caraveo)
Like most Mexican cities that are plagued by vicious cartel violence, Chihuahua is an important transit point for cocaine smuggling into the United States.  As cartels fight for control of all-important drug routes, the levels of violence in Chihuahua has shot up dramatically.  It’s not uncommon for large groups of armed men to storm businesses and indiscriminately open fire.

6. Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas (Photo credit: Hector Frias)
Last year, Caracas had more violent deaths than Baghdad.  Caracas is definitely a top contender for the title of world’s most dangerous city.
The city has such a violent culture, that its given birth to the worshipping of the holy thugs, where residents worship and pray to statues of dead, notoriously violent gangsters.

5. Distrito Central, Honduras

distrito central
Distrito Central (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
In recent years, rising levels of violence in Honduras have been brought on by high levels of poverty, corruption, cartel members spilling in from Mexico, its place on the drug route from South America to the U.S., and a coup d’état in 2009. Some say that the code of honor amongst Honduran’s gangs reuiqre that new recruits kill before being admitted.
The Distrito Central area encompasses the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, as well as its poorer sister city Comayaguela. Together, these sister cities have a murder rate of 100 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants – the 2nd highest murder rate in the most murderous country in the world.

 4. Acapulco, Mexico

Acapulco (Photo credit: Yosuke Kami)
Until the last few years, Acapulco was associated with images of scantily clad co-eds, not decapitated bodies.  But when an image of a picturesque beach with a couple of bloody bodies in the foreground made the front pages in newspapers around the world – and 10 mutilated bodies were found in and around the resort city in a single weekend – the outside world recognized that this once prosperous tourist resort had fallen victim to the extreme, often sadistic drug violence that has plagued much of Mexico.
While tourism officials anxiously point out that most of the violence doesn’t take place in cruise destinations, it’s hard for them to be heard when they’re competing with images of dismembered bodies.

3. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Ciudad Juarez (Photo credit: pmoroni)
This time last year, Ciudad Juarez would have easily been in the #1 position on this list, as it had been for the last 3 years.   Plagued by murderous drug warfare,  some parts of the city could have been mistaken for a warzone.
Yet over the last year, the murder rate in this border town dropped over 57%.  The shift has been drastic; in October 2010, there were 359 murders in the city, while in October 2012 there were “only 30″.
While the Mexican government proudly boasts about the reduction in crime, the true reason for the murder drop likely has nothing to do with the government’s efforts. Instead, citizens have the Sinaloa cartel to thank.  By successfully ousting the rival Juarez Cartel from its turf, it has greatly reduced the number of conflict. The sharp drop in crime could also be related to the fact that over 200,000 terrified citizens have fled the troubled city in recent years.
Still, the city is still far from safe, this border town is still controlled by gangsters.  Kidnappings and extortion is still very common, and some human rights groups have found that incidents of torture are on the rise.  Additionally, the murderous violence could easily escalate to previous levels if a major gang leader were captured and splinter groups started fighting again for control of the city.

 2. Maceio, Brazil

Maceio, Brazil
Maceio (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Once famous for its white sandy beaches, this city in northern Brazil is now the most violent city in Brazil, with a per capita murder rate of 135.26 per 100,000 inhabitants.
While it boasts beautiful beaches, sparkling emerald waters, and year-round sunshine, the city is scarred by slum violence fueled by extreme poverty and inequality.  It’s a land where sugarcane farmers settle their scores with machetes and clubs, while the rich rely on paid assassins to get what they want.
Government officials eager to attract tourism point out that residents are killing each other, not outsiders, and that the killing mostly occurs in the favelas (slums), rather than in picturesque beauty spots.  Still, being the 2nd most violent city in the world isn’t exactly a selling point when it comes to tourism.

1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras

san pedro sula
San Pedro Sula (Photo credit: iwantcheese)
Congratulations San Pedro Sula, you’ve officially arrived as the murder capital of the world.  While recent number are difficult to obtain, a Citizen Council study reported that a whopping 1,143 out of 719,447 of San Pedro Sula’s residents were murdered in 2011.
That’s 159 people killed for every 100,000 residents.  That’s a murder rate 40 times higherthan the average U.S. city, and 8 times higher than the most dangerous city in America (New Orleans). Even the U.S. peace corps was forced to withdraw from Honduras after a member of the peace corps was shot in the leg in San Pedro Sula.
Perhaps even more alarming is a study by the United Nations indicating that the city’s murder rate has more than doubled in the period from 2005 – 2010.  Like many struggling Latin American countries, San Pedro Sula’s spike in extreme violence is largely a product of the drug trade, mixed with extreme poverty and high levels of corruption.
Squeezed out by President Calderon’s War on Drugs, many traffickers have set up shop in Honduras, leaving a trail of bloodshed and lawlessness in their wake.  One doctor tells the story of how she was receiving 3 patients with gunshot wounds, only for a gunman to drop in and shoot them before casually walking away.
Gangs, extreme poverty, and total corruption all contribute to make San Pedro Sula the world’s most dangerous city heading into 2013.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds To Be Wary Of

Dogs are the perfect companions – exceedingly loyal and unfailingly faithful.  But while they can be your best friends, they can also be your worst enemies. This is particularly true if you do something to threaten their well-being, their owners, or their owners’ property. After all, there is a good reason why canines are also used as guard dogs; they can be aggressive and, in some cases, even fatal.
Here are the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds you should be wary of. Keep them as pets, but never inadvertently provoke them.
1. Pit Bulls
Pitbull (Photo credit: maplegirlie)
Pit Bulls are at the top of the list of the top 10 most dangerous dogs. It was reported that approximately 67 percent of fatalities from dog bites could be attributed to this particular breed. Weighing about 25 to 30 kilograms and sporting an extremely powerful jaw, a pit bull can take on just about any opponent, stubbornly bite on its victims, and maul them to a painful and final death. Because this breed of dogs is known to be aggressive, fearless, and superior fighters, Pit Bulls are one of the most sought after for dog fighting.

Note: While statistically speaking, pit bulls are responsible for the highest percentage of human fatalities among dogs, it should be noted that properly trained and cared for Pitbulls are extremely social and friendly around humans.
2. Rottweilers
Rottweiler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Next on the list of most dangerous dog breeds is the Rottweiler. This is based on studiesconducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society, as well as the Center for Disease Control. With a weight that ranges from 46 kilograms to 59 kilograms, Rottweilers pack a lot of stopping power that surely no one wants to put to a test.
The territorial instincts of this particular dog breed is second to none, while the power of its jaws is unrivaled by any other dog all across the world. Rottweilers are remarkably smart, but you’ll have to devote a ton of attention and love to them. A poorly trained Rottweiler can be quite defiant and hostile.
3. German Shepherds
German Shepherd
German Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you examine households and armies throughout the entire world, you will find that most own at least one or more dogs of this famous dog breed. This is because German Shepherds have all the characteristics of an excellent guard dog: smart, loyal, fearless, adaptable, and easily trained. The level of loyalty of this certain dog breed is such that when you find yourself in the line of fire, the animal leaps to take the bullet to protect you. So what makes them part of this list of the top 10 most dangerous dogs? It’s quite simple. Owing to their fiercely protective nature, German Shepherds can be a terrifying enemy for all intruders and robbers.
4. Huskies
Huskies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dogs belonging to this breed were responsible for roughly 6 percent of deaths caused by dog bites from 1979 to 1997, according to a US study done in 2000. Although they are generally considered very intelligent and energetic dogs, huskies aren’t really the ideal guard dogs. Huskies, in contrast to all other types of canines, pose some serious behavioral issues for dog trainers since these dogs were historically bred only for work and did not really socialize with people. Even children may appear as targets for these animals.
5. Alaskan Malamutes
alaskan malamute
Alaskan Malamute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Being the closest in nature and appearance to wolves, Alaskan Malamutes find themselves included in this list of the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds. As working dogs, one can’t find any fault with them. They are capable of putting in a lot of work and are extremely valuable in areas where normal transportation methods just aren’t feasible. What makes them dangerous is that they are awfully hard to calm down once they get started. Since they always travel in a pack, you can also expect that they attack in a pack as well. Imagine a bunch of 35 to 46 kilogram-dogs hunting you down. That has got to send shivers down anyone’s spine.
6. Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinscher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This breed is known for loyalty, brilliance, and alertness. As such, Doberman Pinschers are regarded as one of the breeds you’ll want to consider as guard dogs. Typically, the dogs in this category only attack when provoked or when they believe that their family or their property is being threatened. If this is truly the case, then a Doberman will most likely respond aggressively.

7. Chow Chows
chow chow
Chow Chow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Because of their cute and cuddly stuffed-toy appearance, Chow Chows don’t really appear that intimidating. However, you shouldn’t be fooled by such an attractive and deceptive façade. Owing to the fact that they have a very limited peripheral vision, these dogs are easily startled and annoyed, which might also make them quite unpredictable and aggressive. Extremely devoted to their master, Chow Chows can be the ultimate foe for strangers and intruders alike.
8. Great Danes
great dane
Great Dane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although the dogs in this category are considered mostly gentle giants, they can develop aggressive and hostile manners when trained poorly. Armed with inches-long and razor-sharp teeth and weighing as much as 150 pounds, Great Danes are a biting tragedy waiting to happen.
9. Dalmatians
Dalmatian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The rise in popularity of this spotted dog breed can be credited to the 1961 animated film as well as its 1996 remake. A lot of parents sought to please their children by opening their homes to Dalmatians, but little did they know that they were inviting danger into their homes, too. The high-strung Dalmatians aren’t suited for homes with little kids as their nasty and destructive nature can be easily brought to the surface by the most minor of provocations.
10. Presa Canario
Presa Canario
Presa Canario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Historically bred for the purpose of guarding (and fighting with) cattle, the dogs in this category are capable of leading a victim to a hopeless death. Gifted with a totally fearless nature, unbelievable power, and man-stopping ability, Presa Canarios definitely deserve their reputation for being among the most dangerous dog breeds of today.
Dogs, even potentially dangerous dogs, when given ample and proper training, are useful and friendly creatures. However, if your intentions are shady, the sinking of a dog’s teeth into your body may be the very last thing you’ll ever want to put up with.