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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The showdown between the FBI and Apple could result in huge changes for security and privacy, but one thing it may not do is deliver a big break in the San Bernardino case.

Ask anyone "How was your flight?" and you'll likely hear some kind of complaint: It was late, my luggage was lost, there was no legroom.

And it appears that more airline passengers are not just sounding off to friends and family, but are filing official complaints with the government.

New figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation show a large increase in the number of consumer complaints against airlines last year, even as the airlines are showing slight improvements in on-time performance and how well they provide other services.

It's hard to overstate the tech world's fascination with the legal standoff between the FBI and Apple. Laymen might look at the dispute and shrug; after all, the FBI is just asking Apple to help hack into one phone, and it's not unusual for tech companies to help the police.

In a few days, Apple will formulate its formal response to the federal judge's order seeking the company's help for the FBI to get inside a phone used by Syed Farook, one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Presidential candidates really like to talk about corporate executives' pay.

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HILLARY CLINTON: Top CEOs make 300 times what a typical worker does.

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A leaking natural gas storage well on the outskirts of Los Angeles has been permanently sealed and shut down, after spewing methane into the atmosphere for months, California officials say.

These things we know for sure:

  • The sun rises in the East.
  • The Earth is round.
  • Wal-Mart sales increase every year.

Oops. We'll need to scratch that last one.

On Wednesday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported that that for the fiscal year ended in January, annual revenues totaled $482.1 billion — down 0.7 percent from the previous year's $485.7 billion.

The Freedom 251 smartphone, which went on sale Thursday, has sparked intense interest in India and beyond. Priced at 251 rupees ($3.65), the 3G device is being called the cheapest smartphone in the world. But it's also sparking questions about how the phone works — and whether it's legal.

Updated at 8:11 p.m. E.T.

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health rejected proposed regulations Thursday that would have required actors in all pornographic films statewide to use condoms.

Cal/OSHA's Standards Board voted 3-2 to accept the new regulations, but needed four "yes" votes to pass them. The board then voted to ask Cal/OSHA staffers to get to to work on new regulations for the porn industry.

The standards board heard five hours of testimony from scores of actors, writers, directors and producers at the hearing in Oakland.

Manny Pacquiao will need to look for a new apparel sponsor, after his remark that homosexuals are worse than animals led Nike to terminate its dealings with the boxer, who's also running for a Senate seat in the Philippines.

Fashion Week Wraps Up In New York

Feb 18, 2016

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One of the leading figures in the government's bailout of banks deemed "too big to fail" after the 2008 financial crisis says major banks are still at risk.

Neel Kashkari, now the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that despite changes to Wall Street made as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, big banks are still too big to fail.

A Los Angeles hospital paid a nearly $17,000 ransom to hackers who breached and disabled its computer network, the hospital said in a statement Wednesday.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid the ransom of 40 bitcoins, which is currently worth $16,664, in order to restore the computer system that was infiltrated on Feb. 5.

The hackers used a malware that locks systems by encrypting files and demanding ransom to obtain the decryption key.

For the oil industry, this is what passes for good news:

Iran said Wednesday that it would be great if other countries would limit their oil production to boost prices.

As for itself, Iran will continue to ramp up oil production.

That may not sound like much reason for celebration, but Iran's expression of support for a multination plan to restrain oil output was enough to give the energy market a boost. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.62, or 5.6 percent, to settle at $30.66 a barrel.

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

Thousands of small investors who lost some or all of their savings when a large bank in Spain failed in 2012 may now get their money back. Bankia, which needed a $19 billion bailout just one year after its initial public offering, announced the surprise move Wednesday.

Taxpayers Confused By Late Health Law Forms

Feb 17, 2016

As the 2015 tax filing season gets underway, tax preparers said a delay in health law tax forms is tripping up some consumers, while others want details about exemptions from increasingly stiff penalties for not having insurance.

Under the law, most people must have health insurance or pay a fine. In 2015, the penalty was $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975, or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater.

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