July 2023

South Korea export downturn slows, trade balance swings to surplus

South Korea export downturn slows, trade balance swings to surplus© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A truck drives between shipping containers at a container terminal at Incheon port in Incheon, South Korea, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

By Jihoon Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s export downturn slowed in June, with auto exports extending robust rises and semiconductors narrowing their decline, as the bellwether Asian economy posted its first trade surplus since early last year.

Shipments from Asia’s fourth-largest economy, offering one of the earliest snapshots of monthly global trade, fell 6.0% in June from a year earlier to $54.24 billion in June, narrowing from a 15.2% drop in May, trade ministry data showed on Saturday.

The ministry said the improvement in the trade balance may pause in July and August due to seasonal factors but was expected to get back on track and exports swing back to growth.

The export drop was deeper than the 3.0% forecast in a Reuters survey but still the second smallest in a downturn that began in October.

Exports of semiconductors fell 28.0%, the smallest decline in eight months. Automobile exports rose 58.3%, extending gains to a 12th month, while ship exports jumped 98.6%.

Shipments to China fell 19.0%, the smallest decline since October, while those to the United States fell 1.9% in their third month of decline. Exports to the European Union rose 9.2%.

Imports fell 11.7% to $53.11 billion, narrowing from a 14.0% fall the previous month and but slightly steeper than the 11.0% decline expected by economists.

As a result, the country posted a trade surplus of $1.13 billion in June after 15 months of deficits for the export-reliant economy.

(This story has been corrected to say the decline was larger than expected, not smaller, in paragraph 7)

Hollywood actors extend contract talks, temporarily averting strike

Hollywood actors extend contract talks, temporarily averting strike© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America walk the picket line outside Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 7, 2023 REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Hollywood’s actors union and major Hollywood studios agreed on Friday to keep negotiating through mid-July, staving off the immediate threat of a second labor strike in the entertainment business this summer.

The SAG-AFTRA union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) said they would extend their current contract, which had been set to expire at midnight, through July 12.

The agreement gives the two sides more time to work out a deal and prevent a work stoppage that would have added to ongoing labor strife in Hollywood. Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) walked off the job on May 2, forcing many film and TV productions to shut down.

A-list stars including Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep, in a letter to union leadership this week, said they were ready to walk off the job if negotiators failed to reach a “transformative deal” on higher base pay and safeguards around use of artificial intelligence (AI).

The letter came days after union negotiators issued a video saying their talks had been “extremely productive,” a possible sign that a deal was within reach.

In a message to members on Friday, SAG-AFTRA’s negotiators they had unanimously agreed to the contract extension “in order to exhaust every opportunity to achieve the righteous contract we all demand and deserve.”

“No one should mistake this extension for weakness,” they said.

SAG-AFTRA voted in early June to give its leaders the authority to call a work stoppage if talks were to break down.

Negotiations were taking place during a difficult time for Hollywood studios. Conglomerates are under pressure from Wall Street to make their streaming services profitable after pumping billions of dollars into programming to attract subscribers.

The rise of streaming has eroded television ad revenue as traditional TV audiences shrink.

The walkout by 11,500 writers has shut down a wide swath of TV production and delayed the filming of movies including Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” and “Blade.” Any ongoing filming would have to halt if actors also strike.

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 actors, and the WGA say the entertainment industry has changed dramatically with the rise of streaming television and the emergence of technology such as generative AI, which they fear could be used to write scripts or create digital actors.

The AMPTP, which negotiates on behalf of the studios, has declined to comment about its talks with SAG-AFTRA. The two sides have agreed to keep negotiating without discussing the talks with the media, according to a joint statement on Friday.

With the writers, the AMPTP said it had offered “generous” pay increases but could not agree to all of the writers’ demands. The studios and the WGA have not held talks since the writers’ strike began on May 2.

The WGA walkout is hitting caterers, prop suppliers and other small businesses that generate a large portion of their income from Hollywood productions. The last writers’ strike in 2007 and 2008 cost the California economy an estimated $2.1 billion.

Sporadic violence, but calmer night in France after family buries teenager

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Published Jun 30, 2023 08:19PM ET Updated Jul 02, 2023 02:45AM ET


Sporadic violence, but calmer night in France after family buries teenager© Reuters. A group of police officers walk as people protest following the death of Nahel, a 17-year-old teenager killed by a French police officer in Nanterre during a traffic stop, and against police violence, in Paris, France, June 30, 2023. REUTERS/Juan Medina


By Benoit Van Overstraeten and Horaci Garcia

PARIS (Reuters) -Rioting across France appeared to be less intense on Saturday, as tens of thousands of police had been deployed in cities across the country after the funeral of a teenager of North African descent, whose shooting by police sparked nationwide unrest.

President Emmanuel Macron postponed a state visit to Germany that was due to begin on Sunday to handle the worst crisis for his leadership since the “Yellow Vest” protests paralysed much of France in late 2018.

Some 45,000 police were on the streets with specialised elite units, armoured vehicles and helicopters brought in to reinforce its three largest cities, Paris, Lyon and Marseille.

At 0145 (2345 GMT) Sunday morning, the situation was calmer than the previous four nights, although there was some tension in central Paris and sporadic clashes in the Mediterranean cities of Marseille, Nice and the eastern city of Strasbourg.

The biggest flashpoint was in Marseille where police fired tear gas and fought street battles with youths around the city centre late into the night.

In Paris, police increased security at the city’s landmark Champs Elysees avenue after a call on social media to gather there. The street, usually packed with tourists, was lined with security forces carrying out spot checks. Shop facades were boarded up to prevent potential damage and pillaging.

The interior ministry said 1,311 people had been arrested on Friday night, compared with 875 the previous night, although it described the violence as “lower in intensity”. Police said almost 200 people had been arrested nationwide on Saturday.

Local authorities all over the country announced bans on demonstrations, ordered public transport to stop running in the evening and some imposed overnight curfews.

The unrest, a blow to France’s global image just a year from holding the Olympic Games, will add political pressure on Macron.

He had already faced months of anger and sometimes violent demonstrations across the country after pushing through a pension overhaul.

Postponement of the state visit to Germany is the second time this year he has had to cancel a high-level event because of the domestic situation in France. In March, he cancelled King Charles’s planned state visit.


Nahel, a 17-year-old of Algerian and Moroccan parents, was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop on Tuesday in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

For the funeral, several hundred people lined up to enter Nanterre’s grand mosque. Volunteers in yellow vests stood guard, while a few dozen bystanders watched from across the street.

Some of the mourners, their arms crossed, said “God is Greatest” in Arabic, as they spanned the boulevard in prayer.

Marie, 60, said she had lived in Nanterre for 50 years and there had always been problems with the police.

“This absolutely needs to stop. The government is completely disconnected from our reality,” she said.

The shooting of the teenager, caught on video, has reignited longstanding complaints by poor and racially mixed urban communities of police violence and racism.

Nahel was known to police for previously failing to comply with traffic stop orders and was illegally driving a rental car, the Nanterre prosecutor said on Thursday.

Macron has denied there is systemic racism in French law enforcement agencies.

There is also a broader anger in the country’s poorest suburbs, where inequalities and crime are rife and French leaders have failed for decades to tackle what some politicians have called a “geographical, social and ethnic apartheid.”


Rioters have torched 2,000 vehicles since the start of the unrest. More than 200 police officers have been injured, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Saturday, adding that the average age of those arrested was 17.

Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti said 30% of detainees were under 18.

More than 700 shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bank branches had been “ransacked, looted and sometimes even burnt to the ground since Tuesday”, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

In Marseille, where 80 people had been arrested on Friday, police said they had detained 60 people.

“It’s very scary. We can hear a helicopter and are just not going out because it’s very worrying,” said Tatiana, 79, a pensioner who lives in the city centre.

In Lyon, France’s third largest city, police deployed armoured personnel carriers and a helicopter.

The unrest has revived memories of nationwide riots in 2005 that lasted three weeks and forced then President Jacques Chirac to declare a state of emergency, after the death of two young men electrocuted in a power substation as they hid from police.

Players from the national soccer team issued a rare statement calling for calm. “Violence must stop to leave way for mourning, dialogue and reconstruction,” they said on star Kylian Mbappe’s Instagram account.

The South Winners supporters group, an influential fan group for Olympique de Marseille, called on the city’s youth to “be wise and show restraint”.

“By acting in this way you are dirtying Nahel’s memory and are also dividing our city.”

Events including two concerts at the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris were cancelled, while LVMH-owned fashion house Celine cancelled its 2024 menswear show on Sunday, creative director Hedi Slimane said on Instagram.

With the government urging social media companies to remove inflammatory material, Darmanin met officials from Meta, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok. Snapchat said it had zero tolerance for content that promoted violence.

The policeman whom prosecutors say acknowledged firing a lethal shot at Nahel is in preventive custody under formal investigation for voluntary homicide, equivalent to being charged under Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions.

His lawyer, Laurent-Franck Lienard, said his client had aimed at the driver’s leg but was bumped when the car took off, causing him to shoot towards his chest. “Obviously (the officer) didn’t want to kill the driver,” Lienard said on BFM TV.

EV charging firms oppose Texas’ ‘premature’ plan to mandate Tesla standard -letter

EV charging firms oppose Texas' 'premature' plan to mandate Tesla standard -letter© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Car chargers at a Tesla Super Charging station are shown in Carlsbad, California, U.S. Sept. 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

By Abhirup Roy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -A group of EV charger makers and operators is pushing back against Texas’ plan to mandate the inclusion of Tesla (NASDAQ:) technology in charging stations, saying it is “premature,” according to a document seen by Reuters and a source aware of the matter.

Reuters reported last week that Texas would require charging companies to include both Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) as well as the nationally recognized rival Combined Charging Standard (CCS) technology to be eligible for a state program to electrify highways using federal dollars.

Washington followed suit, and standards organization SAE International has said it aims to make an industry standard configuration of Tesla’s charging connector in six months or less, adding momentum to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s hope of making NACS the national charging technology.

But five electric vehicle charging companies, including operator ChargePoint Holdings and manufacturer ABB, and a clean energy association have written to the Texas Transportation Commission, calling for more time to re-engineer and test Tesla’s connectors.

Texas’ plan “risks the successful deployment” of the first phase of federal funds being rolled out, they said in the letter sent to the chairman of the commission on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters.

“Time is needed to properly standardize, test, and certify the safety and interoperability of Tesla connectors across the industry,” they said.

The source directly aware of the matter told Reuters that some of these organizations are planning to reach out to the federal government with the issue soon.

The Texas Department of Transportation, ChargePoint, ABB and other signatories FreeWire, EVBox and FLO did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Another signatory, Americans for Affordable Clean Energy, an association of truck stops and convenience stores, could not be reached immediately.

Tesla, the dominant EV maker in the United States, has scored a string of victories for its charging technology in recent weeks, starting with Ford Motor (NYSE:) saying it would adopt NACS. General Motors (NYSE:), Rivian Automotive and a raft of auto and charging companies did the same, on concerns of losing out on customers if they offer only CCS.

Tesla’s Superchargers account for about 60% of the total number of fast chargers in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and the deals will allow non-Tesla users to use the company’s large charging network.

But concerns remain about how smoothly the two charging standards would talk to each other and whether having both standards in the market would raise costs for vendors and customers.

Charging companies have to re-work several aspects of NACS connectors, including extending the cable length and ensuring adequate temperature ranges, as well as get certifications for specific parts, the companies said in the letter.

The companies also highlighted the need for a strong supply chain of NACS cables and connectors that comply with the requirements.

China forex regulator Pan Gongsheng named central bank party boss

China forex regulator Pan Gongsheng named central bank party boss© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Vice Governor Pan Gongsheng speaks at a news conference in Beijing, China March 3, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

(Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party appointed central bank Deputy Governor Pan Gongsheng as the bank’s party secretary on Saturday, a move the Wall Street Journal said would be a prelude to becoming governor.

The party’s Central Organization Department announced the decision at a meeting on Saturday afternoon, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on its website.

The Journal reported hours earlier that Pan would be named to the party post before being appointed by the government to head the PBOC.

The PBOC did not respond to a Reuters fax seeking comment.

The appointment of Pan, who turns 60 this month, comes as expectations rise for the authorities to take steps to boost the world’s second-largest economy. A slowdown is deepening and spreading with the waning of a burst of activity following the lifting of strict COVID-19 controls.

The central bank said on Friday it would implement prudent monetary policy in a “precise and forceful manner” to support economic growth and employment.

Pan has deep experience with Chinese banks and policy. He did post-doctoral research at Cambridge University and was a senior research fellow at Harvard University, and has been the deputy governor of the PBOC since 2012, according to the SAFE and PBOC websites.

The current governor, Yi Gang, has been widely expected to retire since being left off the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee during the party’s once-in-five-years congress in October.

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Communist Party has tightened its grip on the financial system, and the central bank has seen its regulatory power eroded in recent reshuffles and restructuring of institutions.

Ukraine, US agree: counteroffensive creeps ahead, measured in blood

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Published Jun 30, 2023 06:58PM ET Updated Jul 01, 2023 11:10AM ET


Ukraine, US agree: counteroffensive creeps ahead, measured in blood© Reuters. Students of the school for drone pilots Dronarium Academy practice during a lesson, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in an undisclosed location, Ukraine, June 30, 2023. REUTERS/Alina Smutko


By Olena Harmash

(Reuters) – Ukraine has been publicly cautious in counting gains in a counteroffensive it launched this month to reclaim territory occupied by Russian forces, and on Friday its president and a U.S. general acknowledged that progress is measured in blood.

The top U.S. military officer, Army General Mark Milley, told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington that the counteroffensive was “advancing steadily, deliberately working its way through very difficult minefields … 500 meters a day, 1,000 meters a day, 2,000 meters a day, that kind of thing.”

He said he was unsurprised progress was slower than some people and computers might have predicted.

“War on paper and real war are different. In real war, real people die. Real people are on those front lines and real people are in those vehicles. Real bodies are being shredded by high explosives.”

He added, “What I had said was this is going to take six, eight, 10 weeks, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s going to be very long, and it’s going to be very, very bloody. And no one should have any illusions about any of that.”

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the counteroffensive was “slower than desired”, without getting too specific. Ukraine says it has recaptured a cluster of villages in operations that liberated 130 square km (50 square miles) in the south, but this is a small percentage of the total territory held by Russia.

On Friday, Zelenskiy said his forces advanced “in all directions of our active operations,” while Hanna Maliar, deputy defense minister, said the military assessed progress as “going according to plan,” and that the counteroffensive should be evaluated by “a lot of different military tasks.”

Reuters was unable to verify the situation on the battlefield. Russia, which began its full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022 has not acknowledged the Ukrainian gains and has said Ukraine’s forces are suffering heavy casualties.


Zelenskiy was quoted as saying Ukraine wanted to show results before a July 11 NATO gathering in Lithuania, at which Kyiv is hoping for an invitation to begin the process of joining the U.S.-led military alliance – but not at any cost.

“Before the summit we have to show results,” Spanish national broadcaster RTVE quoted him as telling Spanish media in Kyiv, based on a translation of his remarks. “But every kilometer costs lives.”

Zelenskiy acknowledged plans for the counteroffensive had slowed in recent months. “We stopped because we could not advance,” he said. “Advancing meant losing people and we had no artillery.”

RTVE of Spain quoted him as saying Ukraine was “very cautious in this regard” and that he would choose to take longer if it meant losing fewer people. “Between time and human beings, people are the most important,” RTVE quoted him as saying.

Zelenskiy was speaking on a day when he ordered top military commanders to strengthen the northern military sector following the arrival of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in Belarus, under a deal negotiated by President Alexander Lukashenko that ended his mercenaries’ mutiny in Russia.

Prigozhin’s Wagner Group could set up a new base at a vacant military base near the town of Asipovichi, about 90 km (50 miles) from the Belarusian capital, Minsk, Russian media reported.

After pushing Russian forces out of northern regions last year, Ukraine took steps to tighten the defense of its border with Belarus, a close ally of Russia.

Zelenskiy said the situation in other frontline areas, supplies of artillery and shells, and advances by Ukrainian troops against Russian forces were discussed at a meeting with military commanders on Friday.

“Ukraine is fighting for their life,” Milley said in Washington. “We are giving them as much help as humanly possible. But at the end of the day, Ukrainian soldiers are assaulting through minefields and into trenches” against Russia’s much larger army.

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says ‘serious threat’ remains at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Ukraine's Zelenskiy says 'serious threat' remains at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 1, 2023. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned on Saturday that a “serious threat” remained at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and said Russia was “technically ready” to provoke a localized explosion at the facility.

Zelenskiy cited Ukrainian intelligence as the source of his information.

“There is a serious threat because Russia is technically ready to provoke a local explosion at the station, which could lead to a (radiation) release,” Zelenskiy told a news conference alongside visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

He gave no further details. Ukrainian military intelligence has previously said Russian troops had mined the plant.

Zelenskiy called for greater international attention to the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest civil nuclear facility, and urged sanctions on Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom.

Zelenskiy later held a meeting of the top military command and nuclear power officials at another of Ukraine’s five nuclear plants, in Rivne, in the northwest of the country.

“The key issues discussed were the security of our northern regions and our measures to strengthen them,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address, standing in front of the Rivne plant.

Zelenkiy’s trip to Rivne was a rare journey for the Ukraine leader to an area relatively far from the fighting. But it is near the border with Belarus, where Russia’s Wagner mercenaries have a deal to go after last week’s aborted uprising. Their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was offered the option of resettling in Belarus, on Ukraine’s northern border.

Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear power authority, said on Friday it had conducted two days of exercises simulating the effects of an attack on the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, issued a statement describing the Ukrainian allegations as “simply preposterous”. Russia has dismissed any suggestion it plans to attack or sabotage the Zaporizhzhia plant. Each side accuses the other of shelling near the facility.

Sanchez said his visit to the Ukrainian capital was meant to underscore his support for Ukraine as Spain kicks off the six-month rotating EU presidency. Spain would provide an additional 55 million euro ($60 million) financial package for Ukraine to help the economy and small businesses, he said.

The Zaporizhzhia plant, located near the city of Enerhodar in southern Ukraine, has been occupied by Russia since shortly after Moscow’s invasion in February 2022.

Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, when clouds of radioactive material spread across much of Europe after an explosion and fire at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.

Fresh flight disruptions threaten US Fourth of July holiday weekend travel

Fresh flight disruptions threaten US Fourth of July holiday weekend travel© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines plane sits at a gate at Logan Airport ahead of the July 4th holiday in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 28, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

By Doyinsola Oladipo and Rajesh Kumar Singh

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The number of people traveling by air in the United States for the Fourth of July holiday is expected to surpass pre-COVID levels for the first time in four years, but recent flight disruptions raise fresh questions about airlines’ readiness to handle the summer travel rush.

In anticipation of a busy summer, U.S. airlines have taken measures like trimming schedules and beefing up staffing to prevent large-scale flight disruptions, though inclement weather in some regions presents a risk to travelers during the period.

Despite signs of slowing consumer spending, about 51 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home between Friday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 4, according to travel group AAA. This is about a 4% increase from 2019 levels, the current record year for July 4th travel.

The AAA estimates do not include Thursday, June 29, which the Federal Aviation Administration expects to be the busiest day of air travel during the holiday weekend.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it screened 2.7 million passengers on Thursday, up 32% from 2019.

Last weekend, thunderstorms and failing equipment at an FAA facility in the Washington area created significant delays for air travelers on the U.S. East Coast.

About 43,000 flights were delayed and over 7,700 were canceled between Saturday, June 24, and Thursday, June 29, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.

United Airlines bore the brunt of the disruptions, with about 19% of its scheduled flights canceled and about 47% delayed.

The Chicago-based carrier said its operations were beginning to see improvement. While the cancellations on Thursday were fewer than those in previous days in the week, United still scrapped 18% of its flights, data from FlightAware showed.

The disruptions have left passengers fuming, with many United customers venting frustration on social media about long lines, delays in rebooking flights and misplaced luggage.

The carrier has been apologizing to customers on Twitter for delays in responding to complaints, citing high call volumes.

“It’s all-hands-on-deck as our pilots get aircraft moving, contact center teams work overtime to take care of our customers, and our airport customer service staff works tirelessly to deliver bags and board flights,” United said in a statement.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called the summer travel season a “stress test” for airline operations.

“Nobody can control the weather, but it is important for airlines to create enough cushion in resilience in the system,” Buttigieg told CNN.

United CEO Scott Kirby (NYSE:), however, has blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for making the situation worse. In a staff memo, he said over 150,000 United customers were affected last weekend because of FAA staffing issues and its impact on managing traffic.

Still, the airline has said it would be “on track” to restore operations for the holiday weekend when it expects 5 million people to fly with it. Its bookings are up about 12% from last year and have nearly rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:) expects nearly 3 million customers from Friday, June 30, through Tuesday, July 4, across more than 26,000 scheduled flights.

Travel spending has held up nationwide, and air carriers expect strong results through 2023, which comes against a backdrop of U.S. consumer confidence rising in June to its highest level in nearly 1-1/2 years.

AAA expects 43 million people will drive to their destinations, a 4% increase from 2019 levels.

Other modes of travel still have not reached pre-pandemic levels. The travel group expects about 3 million people will travel by bus, cruise liner, or train over the long weekend, up 24% from last year but 5% lower than 2019 levels.

Musk says Twitter will limit how many tweets users can read

Musk says Twitter will limit how many tweets users can read© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, gestures as he attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 202

(Reuters) -Twitter is limiting how many tweets per day various accounts can read, to discourage “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation, Executive Chair Elon Musk said in a post on the social media platform on Saturday.

Verified accounts were initially limited to reading 6,000 posts a day, Musk said, adding that unverified accounts will be limited to 600 posts a day with new unverified accounts limited to 300.

The temporary reading limitation was later increased to 10,000 posts per day for verified users, 1,000 posts per day for unverified and 500 posts per day for new unverified users, Musk said in a separate post without providing further details.

Previously, Twitter had announced it will require users to have an account on the social media platform to view tweets, a move that Musk on Friday called a “temporary emergency measure.”

Musk had said that hundreds of organizations or more were scraping Twitter data “extremely aggressively”, impacting user experience.

Musk had earlier expressed displeasure with artificial intelligence firms like OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, for using Twitter’s data to train their large language models.

Twitter was down for thousands of users on Saturday morning, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com.

Nearly 7,500 users across the social media platform reported issues with accessing the app during the peak of the outage at around 11:17 AM ET.

The social media platform had previously taken a number of steps to win back advertisers who left Twitter under Musk’s ownership and to boost subscription revenue by making verification check marks a part of the Twitter Blue program.

Mexico blasts new Florida immigration law; vows to help migrants

Mexico blasts new Florida immigration law; vows to help migrants© Reuters. Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., gather at the Paso Del Norte international bridge between Mexico and the United States, after the lifting of COVID-19 era Title 42 restrictions that have blocked migrants at the border from seeking asylum since 2020, i

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government on Saturday slammed a tough new state immigration law in Florida spearheaded by Republican Governor and U.S. presidential contender Ron DeSantis, and the country vowed to help protect undocumented Mexicans in that state.

DeSantis is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination for president, and his new Florida law, which took effect on Saturday, is seen as a preview of the kind of hardline policies he would seek on immigration enforcement.

Last month, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged U.S. Latino voters to reject DeSantis, accusing the politician of trying to win votes at the expense of migrants.

According to DeSantis’ website, the new law includes allocating funds to move migrants without lawful status out of the state; restricting access to ID cards; and requiring more businesses to use an electronic system to validate a person’s eligibility to work.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said the provisions could prompt discrimination and racial profiling, and give rise to hostile environments, intimidation and hate crimes.

“Criminalization is not the way to resolve the phenomenon of undocumented migration,” the ministry said, describing the new measures as driven by xenophobia and white nationalism.

It added that Mexico respects U.S. legislative processes, yet views the Florida law as working against joint efforts by the U.S. and Mexico to treat migrants with respect.

Mexican consulates in the U.S. will work to inform migrants about their rights and partner with civil society groups to identify potential cases of abuse, the ministry said.

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