May 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Elon Musk reopens Tesla factory in California, defying virus restrictions

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Monday afternoon tweeted that he will reopen the company's Fremont, California, manufacturing facility, over the objections of local officials.

Why it matters: This is the highest-profile battle so far between a private company and public health officials.

The big picture: Tesla on Saturday sued to overrule Alameda County rules, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested that California should prioritize Tesla's ability to reopen. But Musk, who has repeatedly criticized lockdown orders as too draconian, apparently has decided to take matters into his own hands.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a briefing earlier Monday that the easing of restrictions could possibly allow the plant to reopen as soon as next week. He said he did not know that Musk had already reopened the plant.

Go deeper ... Podcast: Elon Musk vs. California

Go deeper

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business