It’s Thursday! Only one day to the weekend, so start making all of your fun plans. But first wake up with these news headlines.
1. Knock, knock?
Tension between Apple and the Obama Administration is heating up as Apple has said it will defy a judge’s order to unlock the San Bernardino terror suspects’ phone. The FBI has been stymied in accessing the phone’s data that could yield clues to the suspects’ motives, and a judge ruled that Apple must unlock the phone. And so a major public battle was launched between the Obama Administration and the tech company, who claims that the order to decrypt its own product is too invasive. — The New York Times
2. Will this ever end?
The GOP contenders met last night in a town hall meeting in South Carolina, with Anderson Cooper moderating. The candidates attacked one another in predictable ways — is there anything we don’t know about these guys yet? — with most of the vitriol saved for the Trump-Cruz rivalry. In a discussion of what kind of music they like, Rubio claims to enjoy EDM, because “the lyrics are clean.” A man after Tipper Gore’s heart. — CNNMore: What does being ‘ladylike’ mean when you’re a feminist?
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and two other men were indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday. This indictment is for his 2014 armed standoff in Nevada, not the Oregon one that ended last week. The Bundys became the national face of resistance to “overreach” by the federal government when the feds seized his cattle over unpaid grazing fees. The two Bundy sons and the other two men were also recently arrested for the armed standoff in Oregon. Fun hobby. — NBC News
4. What would Olivia Pope do?
ABC has named Channing Dungey as president of ABC Entertainment, making Dungey the first black president of a major broadcast network. Dungey had been VP of drama, where she helped develop Scandal and others. The appointment is significant, as women and people of color have been underrepresented in executive positions in the entertainment industry: #OscarsSoWhite stems directly from #ExecsSoWhite. — Slate
5. GOP squabble
Senate Republicans are in something of a standoff themselves over President Obama’s potential nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that the Senate would not consider anyone Obama put forth, but other prominent Republicans have taken a less hard-line stance, saying they should at least see who the nominee is before vowing to block him or her. Senator Charles Grassley has been the most visible of the GOP detractors, saying they shouldn’t rule out hearings; other prominent Senators, like Hatch of Utah and Cornyn of Texas, said they didn’t see the point. — The Washington Post
6. Cuban vacation
President Obama will take a trip to Cuba in the coming weeks as trade talks between the two countries progress. It will be the first trip by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years and marks the thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations after more than 50 years of estrangement. U.S. officials are meeting with Cuban officials in an attempt to resume relations between the two countries. — The New York Times
7. Trump could be… losing?
A new NBC/WSJ poll has Cruz leading Trump in the GOP primary. The survey of likely Republican voters has Trump trailing by two points — 26 percent to Cruz’s 28 percent. Now, this is within the margin of error, Trump has topped 31 straight polls, and another poll has him with a 20-point lead, so take this news with a grain of salt. Somehow I don’t think Trump himself will put a lot of stock in it. — Slate