Hollywood’s New Favorite Cars Are Armored and Electrified

when a gunman sprayed the door of the rap star’s Suburban with 9 mm bullets, striking Wallace four times and killing him. The combination of guns, death and the particular vulnerability that a car on a public street presents to stars who are under siege from paparazzi and stalkers hits close to home for many in L.A.’s celebrity culture, where spending lavishly on personal security is a seldom-discussed necessity. PHOTOS:Behind the Wheels of Hollywood’s Favorite Cars According to Aaron Cohen, director of IMS Security in Hollywood, whose clients have included Katy Perry, Kate Moss and Charlie Sheen, the cost to secure the home of a tabloid-exposed family like that of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can top $1 million a year. So it’s inevitable that celebrities — as well as Hollywood’s high-net-worth agents, studio executives and producers — would extend their security periphery to include the possession that serves as a mobile status-signifier in this car-obsessed city. Enter the armored vehicle. The trend got rolling in L.A. in the aftermath of the 1992 riots, when navigating the jittery city in military-derived SUVs like the Mercedes G-500 suddenly seemed prudent. (Arnold Schwarzenegger was a famous early adopter.) Now, heavily armored vehicles designed to withstand large-caliber ordinance are turning up at valets around town. At the extreme end of the spectrum is the Prombron Iron Diamond armored vehicle from Latvia’s Dartz Motorz Co. (Dartz manufactured Sacha Baron Cohen’s gold-plated presidential SUV featured in The Dictator.) According to car news website Jalopnik, Kanye West recently ordered two Iron Diamonds, for $1.2 million each. New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was spotted in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District parking a $450,000 Gurkha F5 armored truck — the same brute driven by Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five. Mercedes, BMW and Bentley quietly manufacture armored versions of their cars. The BMW 7 Series High Security can withstand armor-piercing bullets and is outfitted with run-flat tires and a sealed ventilation system in case of attack by chemical weapons. STORY:James Bond Submarine Car Sells for Nearly $1 Million The cars aren’t sold in the U.S., leaving plenty of business for companies like Texas Armoring Corp.

‘Racist’ Hollywood Stereotypes Mexicans, Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora Says

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Marijuana, a soft drug legalized in two U.S. states, accounts for 99.5 percent of the drugs seized at the U.S.-Mexico border by weight. The Mexican press covered the story last week , but the ambassadors comments only began seeping into U.S. press reports on Tuesday. Loading Slideshow Because Most Americans Are Unenthusiastic About It Only 7 percent of Americans think the United States is winning the war on drugs, and few Americans are interested in throwing down more money to try to win, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released in 2012. Because the U.S. Won’t Control The Flow Of Guns Into Latin America Mexican authorities seized almost 70,000 weapons of U.S. origin from 2007 to 2011. In 2004, the U.S. Congress declined to renew a 10-year ban on the sale of assault weapons. They quickly became the guns of choice for Mexican drug cartels. Some 60,000 people have died in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched a military assault on the cartels in 2006.