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Apple's legal battle with the FBI over iPhone encryption continues: A federal magistrate, at the FBI's request, has ordered the tech giant to write software to help investigators circumvent iPhone security features to access a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple is fighting the order, calling it dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional.

Today was the deadline for amicus briefs, or "friend of the court" filings in the case.

The legal dispute over whether Apple should be forced to help the FBI hack into the iPhone used by one of the terrorists in San Bernardino is making headlines in the U.S.

But it's just one skirmish in a broader global conflict: American tech companies are feeling similar pressure from law enforcement agencies around the world, and they say the lack of international legal standards is creating a crisis.

In 1933, an effervescent comedy called Design for Living gave us two men and a woman living cozily together as roommates, no sex. But when that boundary starts to break down, the woman, played by Miriam Hopkins, points out an inequity:

"A man can meet two, three or even four women and fall in love with all of them; and then by a process of interesting elimination, he's able to decide which one he prefers. But a woman must decide purely on instinct — guess work – if she wants to be considered nice."

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Oscar hopefuls strode down the red carpet on Sunday — walking advertisements for some of fashion's biggest names. But Chanel and Armani weren't the only winners that night.

A brand that targets more modest, socially conscious consumers got attention, too.

Oregon's biggest power companies will have 14 years to wean themselves from coal, under a new bill approved by lawmakers Wednesday. The measure has the support of Gov. Kate Brown — and the state's two largest electric companies.

Several environmental groups have backed the bill, which calls for requiring large utilities to ensure that at least 50 percent of their power comes from renewable sources by 2040.

Is It Time To Write Off Checks?

Mar 3, 2016

Remember checks?

You know, those slips of paper where you spell out the numbers, rip them from the book, put them in an envelope, add a stamp, then drop them in a mailbox?

They've been around for centuries, but like many traditional tools nowadays checks are in rapid decline, disrupted by digital payments, the Internet and technology in general. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, calls it a "consumer-driven change."

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Big Trees Lodge.

Visitors to Yosemite National Park could be forgiven for not recognizing those hostelries' names.

They used to be called — and were famously known as — the Ahwahnee and Wawona hotels.

"It's just really surreal," said Monica Hubert, a former manager of the Wawona. "I mean, it's a National Historic Landmark."

The hotels and other Yosemite landmarks have been renamed because of a contract dispute.

At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts — fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.

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The nation’s second largest sporting goods chain announced plans to close one of its half dozen Central and South Coast locations as part of a bankruptcy filing.

If you've stopped for gas lately, you've probably noticed a price jump.

A week ago, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was around $1.70. Now it's about $1.80, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks prices.

So rising gas prices must reflect shrinking oil supplies, right?

Nope.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. who was charged Tuesday with orchestrating a conspiracy, has died in a car crash.

The fatal crash occurred Wednesday morning, the Oklahoma City Police Department said on Twitter.

The local media are calling it the "Robin Hood" budget. The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eager to win support among the urban and rural poor, is announcing programs to improve conditions for low-income people and provide tax breaks for necessities and items that might improve their lives.

Meanwhile, to bring in more funds for government spending, there are now higher taxes for luxury items.

Removing any doubt about whether you're allowed to puff away on an electronic cigarette while airborne, the Department of Transportation has explicitly banned vaping on commercial flights.

Medical device maker Olympus Corp., already under federal investigation for its role in superbug outbreaks, has agreed to pay $646 million to resolve criminal and civil probes into illegal kickbacks and bribes to doctors and hospitals.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the company's settlement is the largest ever for violations of the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute. A portion of the company's payout, $22.8 million, will resolve similar bribery allegations in Latin America.

Sports Authority has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, looking to restructure its debt and close a number of stores to try to regain its financial foothold.

The sporting goods retailer is carrying a heavy debt load.

In its restructuring, Sports Authority plans to access nearly $600 million in debtor-in-possession financing and close or sell approximately 140 stores and two distribution centers. The company operates more than 460 locations.

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow Tuesday to nascent efforts to track the quality and cost of health care, ruling that a 1974 law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents be submitted to a massive database.

The arguments were arcane, but the effect is clear: We're a long way off from having a true picture of the country's health care spending, especially differences in the way hospitals treat patients and doctors practice medicine.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.S. Postal Service is in dire financial straits. If the price of stamps goes down as scheduled in April, it could cost the already hemorrhaging post office $2 billion per year, according to a statement released by USPS.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Chances are, you've never heard of flubendiamide. It's not among the most toxic insecticides, and it's not among the widely used chemicals, either. In recent years, it has been used on about a quarter of the nation's tobacco and 14 percent of almonds, peppers and watermelons.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Google's self-driving car has hit an obstacle. That's actually not a figure of speech, it is a literal fact. On February 14, one of Google's self-driving prototypes hit a bus.

When Godwin Ndosi first heard the word "Airbnb," he said, "Airbnb? Is that the name of a person?

Now it's the way he makes his living.

His introduction to the accommodations rental website came a year ago. Ndosi, a 23-year-old from Arusha, Tanzania, runs a safari business. A client had nowhere to stay after his hotel plans fell apart, so Ndosi invited him to spend the night at his pad.

The badge denoting a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the star worn by Knights of the Order of the Bath and other famous British medals are slated to be produced in France next year — a decision that has brought criticism from Britons who don't want their country's highest honors made on foreign soil.

While a caffeinated workforce is generally a happy one, it may not be an efficient one — at least, not from a planetary point of view, according to the German city of Hamburg. As part of a wider effort to reduce waste and energy consumption, Hamburg has banned the use of coffee pods in government-run buildings, offices and institutions like schools and universities.

For many years, cellphone operators around the world have complained about Facebook and Google: The American tech giants use the operators' cables and towers to hand out free phone calls and messaging services to people in their countries, eating into profits and grabbing customers' data.

Recently, one operator, Telenor, decided: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And in the process, it hunted down the kind of link between people's digital and physical personas that not even Google has.

After A Terrorist Attack, A Fingerprint Drive

FBI Director James Comey says encryption is making phones "warrantproof" — and the agency's dispute with Apple over an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters shows the challenges encryption poses in criminal and counterterrorism investigations.

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