Media Navel Gaze: February 22, 2016
It was a battle out there last week with the Feds demanding (and filing a motion) that Apple unlock a terrorist’s iPhone to gather clues to the mass killing in San Bernardino, Calif., late last year. Apple argues that it is protecting privacy rights but also that “unlocking” the code could either encourage others to request secret entry or be copied by hackers. Ongoing drama and “lines-drawn” posturing expected with technology leaders supporting Apple, but if history is a guide, the Feds will likely get their data and Apple and others will likely redesign their phones to prevent this from happening again.
- In other battles, Trump took on the Holy See in off-the-wall tit for tat over immigration issues (never dull that one – Donald, not Francis), and primaries saw casualties with Jeb Bush dropping out of the race over the weekend;
- Harper Lee died amid mountains or memoria (more than three pages in The New York Times on Sunday), with one little-known fact surfacing that she has been keeping a rent-controlled apartment in New York all this time;
- The funeral for Justice Antonin Scalia was held on Saturday, with mountains of dignitaries present but Obama noticeable by his absence;
- Yahoo shut down its 15 digital magazines, laying off dozens from the once pet project of CEO Mayer;
- Bill Simmons is launching The Ringer sometime this year in a post-ESPN/Grantland return; and
- The stock market came back to life this week, with the Dow up 2.6 percent for the week to 16,391, still down some 6 percent for the year, however.
- ZIKA UPDATE: According to the World Bank, the outbreak of the Zika virus that has swept Latin America will have an economic impact on the region’s countries of $3.5 billion in 2016.
- MEXICO ENACTS EMERGENCY RATE HIKE: Mexico's peso surged nearly 3% after the central bank offered dollars directly to banks, and then unexpectedly raised its interest rates by 50 basis points - in addition to a new intervention policy and budget cuts.
- CURRENCY: The Colombian peso slid on Friday amid falling oil prices, while Brazil and Mexico's currencies posted gains.