French President François Mitterrand, a professed tech enthusiast, visited Silicon Valley in 1984 to meet with an entrepreneur named Steve Jobs. Thirty years later, another French president by the name of François is visiting Silicon Valley — the first presidential visit since Mitterrand’s.
After wooing the D.C. political elite Tuesday, President François Hollande will attempt to do the same Wednesday with Silicon Valley’s tech elite.
Over lunch with Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter and Square’s Jack Dorsey, and Tony Fadell, founder of Nest, Hollande will tell tech executives that France is open for business. The president wants tech companies to invest more in France, which is experiencing a brain drain as the country’s economy remains stagnant.
But he is facing a tough crowd. Hollande — who once said “I do not like the rich” — has been a vocal critic of U.S. tech companies’ privacy and tax practices. Just last week, Hollande, a Socialist, criticized companies like Google for avoiding paying their fair share of taxes.
“This is not acceptable and that is why, at both the European and the global level, we must ensure that tax optimisation … can be called into question,” Hollande said during a visit to a French Internet company last Thursday.
The EU’s legislative body also introduced reforms to global Internet governance Wednesday aimed at reducing U.S. control in light of recent revelations about the U.S. government surveillance program.
Not to mention, unlike the first François, this François has a reputation for being skeptical of new technologies. According to The Wall Street Journal and French newspaper Le Parisien, the president prefers newspapers to iPads and he does not use SnapChat. And when it comes to Twitter?
“I look when they show me,” said Hollande according to the French newspaper. “There’s an addictive side to all that stuff that you need to defend against.”
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.
The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law, saying it was passed with “discriminatory intent." The decision sends the case back to the district judge who initially dismissed challenges to the law. "The ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo identification from voters in future elections, including the November 2016 general election, restores a week of early voting and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect."
An oil pipeline almost as long as the much-debated Keystone XL has won final approval to transport crude from North Dakota to Illinois, traveling through South Dakota and Iowa along the way. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the final blessing to the Dakota Access pipeline on Tuesday. Developers now have the last set of permits they need to build through the small portion of federal land the line crosses, which includes major waterways like the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. The so-called Bakken pipeline goes through mostly state and private land."
The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% in the second quarter, "well below the 2.6% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast." Consumer spending was "robust," but it was offset by "cautious" business investment. "Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. "The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle, 2.1%, remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949."