The ongoing partial government shutdown reaches its 24th day today, setting a new record for longest shutdown in US history. The impasse shows no signs of abating: Congressional leaders and the White House have scheduled no meetings this week, as roughly 800,000 federal workers either continue to work without pay or are furloughed. Meanwhile, dozens of .gov websites — including payment portals and remote access services for organizations like NASA, the US Department of Justice and the Court of Appeals — have been rendered either insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security certificates that have not been renewed, making the impacted sites vulnerable to an array of cyber attacks. [Alan Blinder / The New York Times]
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US officials were so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the wake of former FBI Director James Comey’s firing that they opened a counterintelligence investigation to try and determine whether the president was working on behalf of Russia against American interests. Investigators sought to determine whether Trump constituted a possible security threat, and whether he was knowingly working for Russia or was being unwittingly used by the Kremlin. And current and former U.S. officials said Trump has gone to great lengths to conceal details about about his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos / The New York Times]
AT&T will end all of its remaining location-sharing deals with third-party services, including ones the telecommunications company said have been helpful for customers, following demands from federal lawmakers for an investigation into the alleged data misuses. T-Mobile US CEO John Legere said that his company would completely end similar deals in March, and Verizon Communications said it was also winding down its four remaining location-sharing agreements, which are all with roadside assistance services.[Hamza Shaban and Brian Fung / The Washington Post]
Apple plans to introduce three new iPhone models in the fall, including a successor to the iPhone XR, a 2018 liquid-crystal display model that has been falling short of sales expectations. Apple is considering dropping the LCD in 2020 to shift completely to the more popular organic light-emitting diode displays that the iPhone XS and XS Max have. Because Apple lags behind its rivals in the number of rear cameras, it is considering introducing a triple-rear-camera system to its newest flagship model. Some observers hope that Apple will bring the sharper-edged, aluminum-forward, unibody design elements of the 2018 iPad Pro to the device that may be known as iPhone 11. [Yoko Kubota and Takashi Mochizuki / The Wall Street Journal]
The New York Times is pushing further into voice products for smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The news organization is launching a weekday flash news update called The New York Times Briefing for Alexa-enabled devices (hosted by Michael Barbaro, who also hosts The Daily podcast). It’s also debuting a weekly interactive news quizfrom The Daily’s producers, and “enhanced coverage” in its Sunday paper that prompts print readers of select sections — including travel, music and books — to launch dedicated Alexa skills to learn more about the stories they’re reading. [Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Journalism Lab]
Electric vehicles are the propulsive trend at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week. General Motors recently said it was increasing production of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle and planned to make electric cars a key part of Cadillac’s lineup; Hyundai, Kia, Mini, Nissan and Audi will all display electric models that are due in the United States this year. Meanwhile, demand for cheap small sedans and hatchbacks is shrinking fast in favor of larger, more versatile crossovers and sport-utility vehicles, and more auto makers are dropping them altogether from their US lineups, creating fewer options for budget-minded buyers looking for new cars priced around $20,000 or less.[Neal E. Boudette / The New York Times]
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