Twitter Tension, Mexico’s Elections, & What Happened At WWDC
June 6, 2023
Regulators Circle Twitter Like Vultures
Elon Musk has made quite a few enemies in the past week – so, it’s a normal week at Twitter HQ. A group of Senators sent a letter to Twitter leadership that was made public on Monday, warning that actions taken by the company since Musk’s takeover might have put the social media site on a collision course with the Federal Trade Commission. The senators’ letter claims that the company might have violated a 2011 consent decree it had entered with the FTC, which was supposed to prevent it from misleading users about its data protection measures over a 20-year period.
The letter follows the resignation of two top Twitter executives who handled issues of data privacy: head of trust and safety Ella Irwin and head of brand safety and ad quality A.J. Brown. Both were in charge of important programs for the social network as it’s come under fire for hosting disinformation campaigns over the years, and the company has struggled to keep up ad revenue as content moderation has weakened under Musk’s leadership.
Across the pond, Twitter has also found itself in hot water with European Union regulators. The company recently pulled out of the E.U.’s voluntary code to fight disinformation. The code aims to prevent profiting from disinformation, cut down on bot accounts, and increase transparency. Most tech giants have voluntarily agreed to comply with it. While Twitter won’t have to deal with the regulations for a short period, the E.U.’s internal market commissioner says it will be legally forced to comply on August 25, when the law becomes mandatory for all sites with more than 45 million monthly active users in the E.U. “If [Musk] doesn’t take the code seriously,” said one E.U. official, “Then it’s better that he quits.”
Some Good News
- Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern honored as a dame (CNN)
- Award-winning Hong Kong journalist wins appeal in rare court ruling upholding media freedom (ABC)
Morena Is Making Moves
- On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s left-wing Morena Party scored a crucial victory in local elections, winning the governorship of the State of Mexico. The state surrounds Mexico City on three sides and has been ruled by the center-right Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) for almost a century. Morena’s Delfina Gómez won 52.7% of votes, comfortably beating the PRI’s Alejandra del Moral, who won just 44.3%.
- With Amlo leading Morena to national power, the decline of the PRI has become increasingly apparent. The party now controls 22 of Mexico’s 32 states, and enjoys wide popularity thanks to its social support programs, minimum wage hikes, and focus on corruption. Around half of all eligible voters in Mexico State turned out for the election – for comparison, about under 30% of Californians voted in the last gubernatorial election.
Like Very Unpleasant Ships In The Night
- The U.S. Navy claimed on Monday that three ships belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were found “harassing” a merchant ship off the southern coast of Iran on Sunday, only stopping when U.S. and U.K. Navy warships intervened. According to the Navy, the three Iranian fast-attack Guard vessels, crewed by armed men, were piloted in close quarters to the merchant ship, which in turn transmitted a distress signal. The Guard claims the three boats were responding to that call for help.
- The incident took place in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow part of the Persian Gulf off of Iran’s southern shores. The Strait is of special significance to the U.S. and U.K. as some 20% of the world’s oil passes through it, and U.S. and British ships patrol it regularly. “The situation deescalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene,” said the Navy. “The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.”
Additional World News
- U.S. releases video of encounter with Chinese warship in Taiwan Strait (NBC)
- Three-year-old Palestinian boy shot by Israeli soldiers dies in hospital (Guardian)
- 15 dead, 8 missing after heavy rains unleash floods in Haiti (ABC)
- India suspension bridge collapses for a second time (Reuters)
- Saudi Arabia welcomes Venezuelan leader Maduro, reaching out to yet another US foe (AP)
- Exclusive: Ukraine has cultivated sabotage agents inside Russia and is giving them drones to stage attacks, sources say (CNN)
- Afghanistan school girls “poisoned” in 2 separate attacks, officials say, as Taliban vows to find perpetrators (CBS)
“Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet.” – Gary Kovacs
Only God & The School District Can Judge Me
- Davis School District, north of Salt Lake City, Utah, has banned the Bible in elementary and middle schools. After a 2022 state law began requiring districts to include parents in decisions over what is considered “sensitive material,” a parent frustrated by the constant attempts to ban books argued that the Bible contains content that’s too vulgar for children.
- After hearing about the successful attempt to remove the Bible from the schools, another parent filed yet another complaint – this time, against the Book of Mormon. The district declined to say if it was the same parent that filed both complaints. District spokesperson Chris Williams said that the school follows the process for all requests for review, regardless of if it seems to be done in protest or in sincerity.
Cross, Cross, Baby
- The Biden administration is allocating $570 million to help eliminate railroads crossings in 32 states, replacing them with bridges or underpasses to help alleviate traffic delays. In an attempt to cut costs, many rail companies have moved toward longer trains, which means some crossings can be blocked for absurd lengths of time.
- Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “We see countless stories of people unable to get to work on time, goods being blocked from getting where they need to be and first responders being delayed by these these trains that can be slowed or stopped.” In addition to those problems, about 2,000 collisions are reported at railroad crossings annually.
Additional USA News
- Federal investigators probing what led to fatal crash of unresponsive plane intercepted by US fighter jets near DC (CNN)
- Democratic Senate hopeful Ruben Gallego claims primary residence in Arizona — and D.C. (Politico)
- California blames Florida after migrants left outside Sacramento church (Guardian)
- Canadian fires bring dangerous air quality to the US, impacting millions of Americans (ABC)
- Trump critics warn of ‘deep decline of rule of law’ if he wins second term (Guardian)
- Trump’s lawyers meet with Justice Department officials following complaints about special counsel probe (CNN)
- Mother of slain Idaho student Ethan Chapin says her family won’t attend suspect’s trial (NBC)
No, Really, You Look Cool With The Giant Headset On
- At the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino on Monday, Apple unveiled a new product that’s been talked about for years – an augmented reality headset named Apple Vision Pro. The headset will be powered by an all-new Apple operating system, and allows users to interact with virtual screens and apps in the air in front of them when they wear it – all for the super reasonable price of $3,500.
- While companies like Meta and Google have already made their attempts at virtual reality products, Vision Pro is Apple’s first foray into the world of VR, and is CEO Tim Cook’s first major hardware contribution to the company. Users will be able to control the device with eye movements and hand gestures, and the glass screen can switch between augmented and virtual reality – allowing users to see their surroundings or be fully immersed in content. Who doesn’t love being immersed in content?
- While current applications of VR are mainly focused on things like simulated environments and games, Apple’s inclusion of augmented reality technology allows a larger focus on productivity – though it expects to collaborate with Disney to create VR experiences on the entertainment front. Instead of needing to flip between tabs on your laptop, for example, you can arrange all your screens on the air in front of you, even pulling things out of different screens with your hands. If you’ve got the cash to spare, you can learn more about the headset here, and, on an unrelated note, you can donate to the Daily Pnut here.
- Supreme Court agrees to hear trademark dispute over ‘Trump too small’ slogan (CNN)
- Tennessee woman paid to hire a hitman to kill the wife of her dating website match (ABC)
- See thousands of stars in a galaxy 17 million light-years away captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (CBS)
- If the Government Has UFO Crash Materials, It’s Time to Reveal Them (Politico)
- Airborne DNA accidentally collected by air-quality filters reveals state of species (Guardian)
- Louis C.K. Documentary Dropped by Showtime (Variety)
- Kansas City Chiefs to celebrate Super Bowl win at White House Monday (Politico)
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