How to Be an Expatriate in 2020

from NYTs Three years ago, Chuck Burgess and Kerstin Michaelsen were comfortably set up in New York City with good careers, a home in Manhattan and another in the Hamptons. But they yearned for something more. Not more in the sense of material things, but in the satisfaction derived from new adventures and new lands. They fantasized about moving abroad — an idea that seemed more attractive as the couple, both 50, settled into midlife. Ultimately it was a “heightened sense of our mortality,” Mr. Burgess said, that gave them the prod they needed, after three of their parents died […]

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How the U.K. Supreme Court’s Rebuke to Boris Johnson Remakes British Law

from NYTs Britain’s all-consuming debate over Brexit has dragged another of its respected institutions into uncharted territory, as the Supreme Court struck down Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament, an extraordinary intervention by the judiciary into a political dispute. The unanimous decision, handed down on Tuesday, is an unalloyed defeat for Mr. Johnson and will propel Britain into a fresh round of political turmoil. But it is even more significant for what it says about the role of the country’s highest court, which has historically steered clear of politics. By ruling that Mr. Johnson acted unlawfully — and doing […]

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Chinese Dissidents Feel Heat of Beijing’s Wrath. Even in Canada.

from NYTs Search for Sheng Xue on Google in English and you will find the story of an award-winning writer who left China for Canada after the Tiananmen Square uprising and became one of the world’s leading advocates for Chinese democracy. But that same search in Chinese comes up with a very different portrait: Sheng Xue is a fraud, a thief, a traitor and a serial philanderer. Want proof? It offers up salacious photos, like one seeming to show her kissing a man who is not her husband. As China extends its influence around the globe, it has mastered the […]

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Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won’t Destroy Jobs

from MIT Technology Review No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way. I took an Uber to an artificial-­intelligence conference at MIT one recent morning, and the driver asked me how long it would take for autonomous vehicles to take away his job. I told him it would happen in about 15 to 20 years. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I’ll be retired by then,” he said. Good thing we weren’t in China. If a driver there had asked, I would have had to tell him he’d lose his […]

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China Is Quietly Reshaping the World

from The Atlantic The Pakistani town of Gwadar was until recently filled with the dust-colored cinderblock houses of about 50,000 fishermen. Ringed by cliffs, desert, and the Arabian Sea, it was at the forgotten edge of the earth. Now it’s one centerpiece of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, and the town has transformed as a result. Gwadar is experiencing a storm of construction: a brand-new container port, new hotels, and 1,800 miles of superhighway and high-speed railway to connect it to China’s landlocked western provinces. China and Pakistan aspire to turn Gwadar into a new Dubai, making it a city […]

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Shutting France Down Over Uber

from The Atlantic Traffic in a number of French cities slowed to a crawl Tuesday as taxi drivers across the country protested against Uber and other “non-traditional” car services. Dispatches from around France included reports of burning tires, the setting of roadblocks on major thoroughfares, and a campaign for cab drivers to “drive slow.” More here.

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China’s Dangerous Digital Agenda

from Project Syndicate When the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba listed on the New York Stock Exchange late last year, it became the world’s 17th largest publicly traded company overnight, with a market capitalization of $230 billion – larger than Amazon, eBay, or Facebook. Europe, however, seems to have missed the news. Indeed, instead of responding to China’s digital rise, the European Union has remained fixated on the global success of American platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, even threatening punitive actions against them. A couple of months after Alibaba’s IPO, the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution to prevent online companies like […]

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Could This Video Save China?

from The Atlantic Hundreds of millions of people in China have watched this 103-minute-long video just in the past week. There’s never been anything close to its success in the English-language Internet world. Everyone in the China-policy community is aware of it and discussing it. I’m mentioning it here for several reasons. First, it’s just now available in a version with English subtitles for the whole length. The crowd-sourced translation effort is its own fascinating tale—you can see the crowd-sourcing page, mainly in Chinese, here—but for the moment the point is that English speakers can follow the whole thing, below. […]

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Mutual Suspicion Mars Tech Trade With China

from NYTs At an elegant guesthouse here recently, China’s top Internet regulator entertained ambassadors and diplomats with platters of tempura and roast on a spit, unusual lavishness in an era of official austerity in China, to celebrate the Chinese New Year. But the graciousness came with a warning: Foreign companies had to behave if they wanted to stay in China’s $450 billion technology market. In Washington on the same day, more than two dozen American tech industry executives and trade association officials gathered at an emergency meeting at the pre-Civil War building of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. […]

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Disruptive Innovation: Estonia Will Do To Citizenship What Uber Is Doing To Taxis

from The Ladder A term that seems to be thrown about in the technology sphere, and indeed in the mainstream press these days is ‘disruptive innovation’. It’s the thing that every start-up, entrepreneur and venture capitalist strives towards. In the never-ending quest for convenience, consumers wholeheartedly buy products and services that save us time. So, when Uber came along and started providing a quicker and more efficient way to hail a taxi, the only people who properly objected were the cabbies themselves. With the growth of the internet, distances are shrinking, the level of consumer choice is many times what it was twenty […]

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How Europe Could Cut Google Down To Size Without Splitting It Up

from Gigaom With a new competition commissioner re-examining the long-running Google antitrust case, it’s worth revisiting what she needs to achieve, particularly as the European Parliament has now called for EU antitrust law’s nuclear option – the unprecedented splitting-up of the company – to be on the table. The resolution that the Parliament passed on Thursday refers to the possibility of separating Google’s search business from its other interests. It is, more than anything, a reflection of how politicized and overstuffed the Google case has become. It forms part of a wider broadside against Google’s dominance in Europe – an offensive that is coalescing […]

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