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From Obama To Uber, The New Digital Face Of American Arrogance

A hard European retort to an attitude that extends from Silicon Valley to the White House, which says that the United States' dominance in new technology should give it free license abroad.

Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
David Barroux


PARISBarack Obama, who is launching a charm offensive in Silicon Valley, has decided to make some friends by accusing Europe of protectionism. The American president passionately declared that “in defense of Google and Facebook, sometimes the European response here is more commercially-driven than anything else. We have owned the Internet. Our companies have created it, expanded it, perfected it in ways that they can’t compete.”

Such arrogance is surprising. In a recent interview given to Le Monde, Uber founder Travis Kalanick barely tried to hide the fact he would not comply with our laws as long as he found them unsuitable — and that he would help those working for him commit tax fraud as long as France did not follow his rules.

Let’s imagine the reaction of Uncle Sam’s justice and tax systems if a European group was to more or less openly ignore the law of the land on American soil. The truth is that every democracy has the right to defend its vision of justice and impose its laws upon those who choose to take interest in its market.

More importantly, it would be appropriate to remind President Obama that Europe is not China — the cyberspace’s only counter-power — i.e. a country that has closed its digital borders. The Internet in Europe has become a Far West without a sheriff, where the American giants are thriving in total freedom and, sometimes, with complete impunity.

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Migrant Lives

A Train Journey With Bengal Migrants Looking For A Living Far Away

Finding a seat on the Karmabhoomi Express is close to impossible. A closer look at why so many migrant workers travel on it, and out of Bengal, offers a grim picture.

image of a train

The Karmabhoomi Express runs from Kamakhya to Mumbai in a 3 day journey.

India Rail Info
Joydeep Sarkar

WEST BENGAL — Welcome aboard the 22512 Kamakhya-LTT Karmabhoomi Express — a metaphor, if any, of the acuteness of Bengal’s unemployment problem.

It is 10.28 pm at north Bengal’s Alipurduar Junction and the crowd has swollen to its peak. This is when the Karmabhoomi Express appears at the station. It is bound for Mumbai. Finding a seat on it is close to impossible. It is always chock full and there are always hundreds struggling to get a spot in the unreserved general compartment.

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