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China trade declines after COVID lockdown

China's export growth tumbled in April after Shanghai and other major industrial cities were shut down to fight virus outbreaks.

Customs data showed exports rose 3.7% over a year earlier to $273.6 billion, down sharply from March's 15.7% growth. Reflecting weak Chinese demand, imports crept up 0.7% to $222.5 billion, in line with the previous month's growth below 1%.

The data confirmed fears that anti-virus controls shutting down most businesses in Shanghai and other industrial centers may depress trade and activity in autos, electronics and other industries. China's global trade surplus widened by 19.4% to $51.1 billion while the politically volatile surplus with the United States contracted by 65% to $9.8 billion.

 

Face-scanner agrees to limits in new pact

Facial recognition startup Clearview AI has agreed to restrict the use of its massive collection of face images to settle allegations that it collected people's photos without their consent.

The company in a legal filing Monday agreed to permanently stop selling access to its face database to private companies or individuals around the U.S., putting a limit on what it can do with its ever-growing trove of some 20 billion images pulled from social media and elsewhere on the internet.

The settlement in a Chicago court will end a 2-year-old lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups over alleged violations of an Illinois digital privacy law.

 

Fed says Ukraine war biggest economic threat

The Federal Reserve no longer views the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest threat to the global financial system. Instead, the central bank is pointing to Russia's war in Ukraine and surging as inflation the chief perils.

The observations came Monday in the Fed's semiannual Financial Stability Report focusing on trends in trading and investing as well as broad economic issues. The Fed says that economic uncertainty has increased since its previous report, with Ukraine war being a big part of the deterioration. I

Inflation was also a big part of the report, as prices jump at rates not seen since the early 1980s.

 

HUD doubles aid to limit evictions

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is doubling the size of its eviction protection program, designed to fund legal assistance for tenants seeking to stay in their homes.

The $20 million HUD grant announced Monday will fund legal services and representations for families facing eviction but will not provide direct rental relief. The funds will be distributed through the Eviction Protection Grant Program to 11 nonprofit organizations and government entities, with grants ranging from $1 million to $2.4 million.

Recipients of the fresh wave of funding include Pine Tree Legal Assistance of Portland, Maine, and the city of San Antonio, Texas.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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