FSRN Weekly Edition – February 26, 2016

(Photo credit: Alexander G. Wiggert via Flickr / Creative Commons)
  • Congress takes a fresh look at updating and overhauling electronic communications law
  • Digital privacy advocates rally in support of Apple’s resistance to override iPhone security feature for FBI
  • Obama announces plan to close Guantanamo Bay; GOP signals push-back
  • Bolivia’s president loses referendum bid to run for re-election
  • CDC arrives in Brazil to conduct case-control study on microcephaly spike
  • New GM banana bound for Uganda set for human testing at Iowa State

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Congress takes a fresh look at updating and overhauling electronic communications law

Congress is gearing up to take on an issue that many digital rights advocates and technology experts alike predict will shape the future of online communications and even the architecture of the internet itself. That issue is data encryption and what – if any – measures the government can or should take to weaken it using national security arguments. FSRN’s Shannon Young has more.

Digital privacy advocates rally in support of Apple’s resistance to override iPhone security feature for FBI

Digital privacy advocates rally in support of Apple’s resistance to override iPhone security feature for FBI
Beyond the Beltway, digital privacy advocates and everyday internet users demonstrated Tuesday at Apple stores throughout the U.S. to show their support for the company’s resistance to the judicial order to build an iPhone backdoor. FSRN’s Lena Nozizwe reports from Los Angeles.

 

Obama announces plan to close Guantanamo Bay; GOP signals push-back

Power struggles between President Barack Obama and the GOP-led Congress continue to rage in the president’s final months in office. Top GOP Senators reiterated this week that they will not allow confirmation hearings on any nominee President Obama puts forth to fill the now-vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear this week that Congress will not support another major Obama priority before the end of his term: closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.

 

Bolivia’s president loses referendum bid to run for re-election

Bolivian voters rejected a move by President Evo Morales to amend the country’s constitution in order to run for a fourth term. The measure failed by a razor-thin margin, but was nonetheless the first ballot box defeat for the leftist leader in ten years. Aldo Orellana López has more from Cochabamba.

 

CDC arrives in Brazil to conduct case-control study on microcephaly spike

A research team from the U.S. Center for Disease Control arrived in Brazil Monday to begin a case-control study to find out if the Zika virus really is the cause of a spike in brain malformations in infants. They hope to capture specific evidence of causal factors for the birth defects – whether Zika, other infections or possible environmental factors.  While much about the virus and its implications for pregnant women remains unknown, many say there’s a disproportional impact on the poor. From Recife, Sam Cowie reports.

 

New GM banana bound for Uganda set for human testing at Iowa State

Researchers are studying a new genetically-modified banana funded by the Gates Foundation to see if it could help reduce chronic Vitamin A deficiency in Uganda. The project has stirred controversy, part of which has to do with clinical trials set to begin this year at Iowa State University. Protesters opposed to the project recently delivered nearly 60,000 petitions to the Gates Foundation offices in Seattle. Martha Baskin has more.


Music in today’s show is by Alek via Jamendo.com.

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