It’s Trump vs. Twitter – The New York Times


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President Trump signed an executive order yesterday seeking to strip social networks of legal protections for user content. It’s unclear whether this is legally possible, and the threat of it didn’t seem to deter Twitter, the main target of Mr. Trump’s anger.

• But the order escalates debate in Congress over the future of Section 230, with some lawmakers having already questioned whether the provision should be amended. Joe Biden is also on the record calling for Section 230 to be revoked.

Twitter appeared unfazed by the threat. This morning it flagged a tweet by Mr. Trump suggesting that protesters in Minneapolis could be shot — a message that the company said violated policies against glorifying violence. (The tweet, which is still online, is accessible only after clicking through a warning message.) That came after the social network fact-checked a tweet this week by Mr. Trump about mail-in voting — “we knew from a comms perspective that all hell would break loose,” a Twitter executive explained — and has continued labeling tweets by others as potentially misleading.

• In the executive order, Twitter is mentioned six times, Facebook twice, and Instagram and YouTube once each.

The U.S. dollar has gained about 7 percent this year against a basket of major currencies. But as interest rates hit rock bottom, the printing presses rev up and the government borrows big, can it retain its haven status?

So far, it’s going according to plan. A recent research note from Oxford Economics found that since 1973, the dollar has appreciated an average of 6 percent in the past six recessions. It expects this to remain true during the coronavirus downturn, but not for the usual reasons. Foreign investors dumped Treasury bonds at a record rate in March, which would normally push the dollar down. But since the Fed introduced its huge stimulus programs, the stock market has become a “safe refuge,” propelled by tech stocks.

Will the “magic money” run out? In a forthcoming essay in Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Mallaby writes about the “opportunity and peril” of the new era of aggressive government spending. In past periods of high national debt, leaders have tried to co-opt the central bank. If that happens with the Fed, Mr. Mallaby writes, “the age of magic money could end in catastrophe,” namely a dollar crisis that could throw the world back into turmoil.

• Both companies’ stock prices are up nearly 20 percent this year, easily outperforming the market and nearly doubling the rises recorded by Walmart and Target.

But there is a provision in the plea agreement that could allow the couple — among the highest-profile parents in the scheme — to argue for an even more favorable deal.

They are permitted to argue that “the prosecutor in this case engaged in misconduct that entitles defendant to relief from defendant’s conviction or sentence.” This a rare provision, and as a result, Ms. Loughlin is likely to serve just four or five weeks of her term.

The defendants have argued that Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the admissions scheme, enticed them into making statements that entrapped them. The F.B.I. had Mr. Singer record his conversations with the defendants, and the defense says he was coached to lie to the parents about the nature of the payments he advised them to make.

The U.S. attorney’s office wants to avoid a trial, because putting Mr. Singer on the witness stand may result in a finding of prosecutorial misconduct. By accepting the plea agreements, the Justice Department can claim victory — even though not everything went to plan.





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