Apple battle. John Markoff, Katie Benner and Brian X. Chen of the New York Times reported on the possibility that Apple Inc.’s engineers will refuse to help the F.B.I unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino, California attacker suspected of killing 14 people and injuring 22, alongside his wife. While Apple is still in the midst of a contentious court battle, some Apple engineers say they will quit if ordered to undermine the security of the software they helped create.
Automatic brakes. By the year 2022, nearly all new cars sold in the U.S. will be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems. NPR’s Bill Chappell reported 20 carmakers have committed to the new plan from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Automatic brakes stop a vehicle before it collides with a car or another object and could halt as much as 20 percent of all accidents.
Chinese slowdown. The Chinese have just concluded their most important political forum of the year and the discussions were heavy on the state of China’s economy, reported Jiayang Fan of The New Yorker. China is grappling with its steepest slowdown in a quarter century, complicated by a plunge in the Shanghai Stock Exchange last June. Premier Li Keqiang, China’s head of government and the nation’s top economic official, told audience members “problems and risks that have been building up over the years are becoming more evident.”
Student debt improvement. Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal reported fewer Americans are more than a month late on their student-loan payments. About one in five Americans, or 19.7 percent, who were out of school and responsible for making payments were at least a month behind as of Dec. 31, according to education department officials. That figure dipped from a delinquency rate of 22.2 percent a year earlier.
“Pudong skyline, Shanghai” by Flickr user Matt Paish cc license CC by-NC-ND 2.0.