Social media giant Facebook (FB) has been embroiled in a crippling data scandal that has seen the stock drop over 15% from its peak and lose over $50 billion in market value this week. Facebook is under fire for giving data on 50 million of its users to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting and data mining firm that worked for the Trump campaign. The breach has drawn significant public backlash, spurring debate over consumer protection laws and security of personal data. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the “breach of trust” and expressed his willingness to testify before Congress regarding the data breach.
John Bolton Joins Cabinet
In a widely anticipated but ahead-of-schedule move, President Trump has ousted yet another high-level cabinet member, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. Trump replaced McMaster with John Bolton, a Bush-era war hawk who has served in several Republican administrations and, in 1998, co-authored a letter to President Clinton encouraging the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Earlier this year, Bolton argued that talks with North Korea were a waste of time. His appointment is surprising in the sense that his policy views stand in direct contradiction to some of President Trump’s, who heavily criticized U.S. foreign policy surrounding the Iraq War and recently made plans to speak with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Beijing Bites Back
Beijing has responded to President Trump’s metal tariffs with a charge on $3 billion of U.S. imports, with more expected to come. China, which is America’s third largest export market and the largest foreign owner of U.S. Treasuries, has significant leverage over the U.S. with respect to trade. Suppliers to Apple were the hardest hit in Hong Kong and mainland following the tariffs. China has said it plans to take legal action against the U.S. at the WTO for its tariffs on steel and aluminum.