The Price of Protection

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An epidemic of kidnappings has led affluent Mexicans to pay $4000 to have secret transmitters implanted in their arms, which can pinpoint their location by satellite.

Harrods now sells bulletproof shirts, blazers, raincoats, leather jackets, and ties, and a $12,000 polo shirt that can resist shots from a Mini Uzi.

Thanks to widespread fear of robberies and violence in Brazil's cities, in the second half of 2007, an estimated 7500 bulletproof cars were sold in that country.

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Russian oligarchs are buying up houses in a walled compound outside Moscow (prices start at $13 million), with a security team and housing for residents' bodyguards just outside the gates.

In California, private-security companies have reported a spike in the purchase of "safe rooms" — chambers that protect owners from nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks — that can include pizza kitchens, movie theaters, and putting greens, so leisure time won't be held hostage to the apocalypse.

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