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Google Accused In France Of Compiling 'Biggest List Of Jews In History'

ÉCRANS,RTL (France)

PARIS – Four French anti-racism organizations have sued Google for its automatic suggestion function that prompts search requests to see if certain public figures are Jewish, French website Écrans reports.

The Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF), SOS Racism and two other groups said the search engine corporation's "auto-suggestion" tool was breaching a French law that bans ethnic statistical categorizing. When a user types the name of a politician, pop star or other famous people, Google suggests keywords that you may want to search along with the name of this person. For a surprisingly high number of people on Google.fr the search engine prompts the word "Jewish" to appear.

The issue first received attention during the French presidential campaign when some noticed that Google auto-suggest completed searches for then candidate (and eventual winner) François Hollande with the French word for Jewish, "juif," even though Hollande comes from a Catholic family.

By recording personal data on citizen's ethnicity "without explicit consent," the California-based company is "probably building the biggest list of Jews in History," Patrick Klugman, the attorney for SOS Racism, told RTL radio station.

Google responded by saying that the suggestions were not made "manually," but rather were "algorithmically generated according to most popular searches' in order to better facilitate web search.

On Wednesday, the Paris judge handling the case, Martine Provost-Lopin, decided to appoint a former judge as a mediator in the case to oversee talks between the web-search giant and the anti-racist groups. The two sides have until June 27 to try to reach an agreement or risk winding up taking the case to trial.

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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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