Starbucks Sets Up Shop In Coffee Heartland, Colombia
El Espectador

BOGOTA — Call it the South American version of selling ice to eskimos: Starbucks is opening its first store in Colombia on July 16. The shop marks the start of the American coffee giant's operations in a country that grows and produces lots of its own brew, and already has a strong, local but international, coffee brand, Juan Valdéz.

In fact, Starbucks plans to open its first store right next door to Juan Valdéz in the Parque 93 shopping and dining district in northern Bogotá, frequented by the Colombian middle class and foreign tourists. This will be the first of 50 stores Starbucks plans to open in Colombia by 2018.

In August 2013, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that Starbucks would be entering the Colombian market in partnership with Nutresa, a local food and drinks firm. The partnership formula has been used elsewhere by the company. Starbucks entered the Spanish market in partnership with VIPS, a chain of eateries and stores with a very high profile and string of stores, often located in some of the finest districts in Spanish cities.

Schultz said the firm's success elsewhere would not assure the same in Colombia, a country he nevertheless described as "a very big market and ready for Starbucks."

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Ideas

How Facebook Knowingly Undermines The World's Largest Democracy

Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang says that the tech giant knowingly facilitates undermining democracy in India. Fair voting cannot be guaranteed if real people's voices are drowned out by armies of fake online commentators.

The Tek Fog app is allegedly used by online operatives to hijack social media

Sophie Zhang

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — Earlier this month, The Wire published an exposé on Tek Fog, an app allegedly used by India's ruling, right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make social engineering easier. The app is allegedly used by online operatives to hijack social media and amplify right-wing propaganda in the country.

The investigation immediately grabbed the attention of the Indian public. For the first time, everyday Indians were given insight into the inner workings of a major political party's Information Technology Cell (IT cell). Indians were forced to confront the possibility that their everyday reality was shaped not by the Indian public but the whims of shadowy political operatives.

They also discovered that their own ruling party would seek to phish their phones with spyware for the purpose of sending party-line propaganda impersonating them to friends and family. Such serious allegations more closely resemble an authoritarian dictatorship like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and their hired online commentators, the 50 Cent Army (五毛党), than the world’s largest democracy.

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