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Apple agrees to examine cellphone Florida teens used before going missing

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A recovered cellphone at the center of a dispute between the families of two Florida teens who went missing during a fishing trip will be examined by its manufacturer, Apple Inc, in an agreement hammered out during a hearing on Friday, according to a local media report.

If Apple is able to retrieve anything from the water-damaged phone that is pertinent to the day the boys disappeared – including photos, texts and social media posts – the data will be given to a judge, who will decide if it is evidence and whether it may be shared with the families, according to a report by WPLG television in Miami.

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The agreement puts to rest – for now – a row between the families of Austin Stephanos, 14, who owned the iPhone 6 model cellphone, and his friend Perry Cohen, also 14, who had borrowed it to communicate with his family the day they disappeared in July 2015 off the Atlantic Coast of South Florida, according to the report.

The phone was recovered in March when the boys’ abandoned boat was discovered by a Norwegian crew near the Bahamas, WPLG reported.

The phone was inside a locked box and was heavily water damaged, the report said.

Cohen’s family wanted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to treat the phone as evidence in an open missing persons case, but the agency instead returned it to Stephanos’ family, the station reported.

Cohen’s mother, Pamela Cohen, sued Stephanos’ family to have the phone returned to the state and allow her access to the phone’s contents, the report said.

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In an emergency hearing on Friday, the two sides agreed to turn over the iPhone to Apple and let the judge decide what to do with any data the company is able to retrieve, the station reported.

The two boys, neighbors and fishing buddies in their Palm Beach County hometown, were last seen July 24, 2015, buying gasoline for their 19-foot, single-engine vessel before launching in Jupiter, Florida.

Phone records indicate the phone went offline shortly after 1 p.m. local time and never came back on, the station reported.

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(Reporting by Karen Brooks in Fort Worth, Texas, editing by G Crosse)


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WATCH: Saturday Night Live airs Christmas special — that’s just one giant dig at the Electoral College

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NBC's "Saturday Night Live" aired an opening skit that was just one giant attack on the electoral college.

A snowman introduced the segment, saying that we could look in on the holiday table conversation thanks to hacked Nest cams.

The skit featured a house in San Francisco, California, a second in Charleston, South Carolina and a third in Atlanta, Georgia.

Each dinner table debated impeachment, and the differences between President Donald Trump and his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

But then the snowman said that none of their votes matter.

"They'll debate the issues all year long, but then it all comes down to 1,000 people in Wisconsin who won't even think about the election until the morning of," the snowman said. "And that's the magic of the Electoral College."

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Georgia mayor being recalled for racism resigns from office: report

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Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly resigned in a special city council meeting held on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Saturday.

"The resignation came just days after Councilman Jim Cleveland resigned saying he‘d rather leave office on his own terms than face voters in a recall election next month," the newspaper reported. "Both resignations follow an AJC investigation launched seven months ago into claims that an African American candidate for city administrator was sidetracked by Mayor Theresa Kenerly because of his race."

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Nine 2020 Democrats unite to demand DNC Chair Tom Perez scrap debate rules: report

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The Democratic National Committee is facing a revolt for the party's 2020 presidential candidates for its restrictive debate rules.

"Nine Democratic presidential candidates, including the party's front-runners, are urging the Democratic National Committee to toss out the current polling and fundraising rules used to determine who appears in televised debates and reopen the exchanges to better reflect the historic diversity of the current field. The candidates say the rules exclude diverse candidates in the field from participating," CBS News reported Saturday evening.

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