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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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


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‘A failure in judgment by every single Republican leader’: Ex-GOP congressman scorches Trump’s racism

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) laid into his erstwhile party for its embrace of President Donald Trump's racial hatred and intolerance, as exemplified by the crowd of Trump rallygoers in Greenville, North Carolina chanting "Send Her Back!" of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

"It was heartbreaking," said Jolly, who renounced the Republican Party and became an independent last year. "In terms of what I felt, it was heartbreak, both last night and then to see the likes of Lindsey Graham [(R-SC)] today suggest that the only problem is Omar doesn’t wear a MAGA hat. If refugees would just wear MAGA hats, they could stay. The others deserve to go."

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The racist Republican Party must be ‘utterly confronted and destroyed’: Chris Hayes

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On Thursday evening, MSNBC's Chris Hayes tore into the Republican Party for accepting and legitimizing the racism of President Donald Trump and his supporters.

"'Send Her Back.' The darkest, ugliest impulses that a political movement can cultivate on full unapologetic display," said Hayes. "That's what Donald Trump has been cultivating all along. Whether the Republican Party likes it or not, it stands for it now. Most of us across the ideological spectrum feel, viscerally, a kind of moral revulsion when we hear and see an angry mob braying 'Send Her Back' about a fellow American. But the reaction from Republicans today was basically a foregone conclusion."

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Trump ‘leads a domestic hate movement’ — and the world is watching in shock: WaPo columnist

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President Donald Trump's racism is shocking the entire globe, Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent wrote in a Thursday column.

"One of the most chilling things about President Trump’s hate-rally in North Carolina — which devolved into chants of “send her back,” directed at a nonwhite immigrant member of Congress — was the profusion of tweets about it from abroad," Sargent reported.

"As the president of the United States leads a domestic hate movement, the world is watching," he explained.

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