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Google Amazon row leads to restricted YouTube access

Google plans to stop Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices being able to use YouTube from the start of 2018. The search giant has also blocked a workaround that Amazon introduced to restore YouTube access to a screen-based version of its smart speaker. Experts say the steps mark an escalation of a business row in which consumers have been caught up in the fallout. Amazon had previously stopped selling several of Google’s hardware products. It removed the latest Nest-branded smart home kit – including a home security system and a new…

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FBI failed to access 7,000 encrypted mobile devices

Agents at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been unable to extract data from nearly 7,000 mobile devices they have tried to access, the agency’s director has said. Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was “a huge, huge problem” for FBI investigations. The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said. One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a “fact of life”. Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard – a security feature that…

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Trump rolls back access to free birth control

Media playback is unsupported on your device Donald Trump’s government has issued a ruling that allows employers to opt out of providing free birth control to millions of Americans. The rule allows employers and insurers to decline to provide birth control if doing so violates their “religious beliefs” or “moral convictions”. Fifty-five million women benefited from the Obama-era rule, which made companies provide free birth control. As a candidate, Mr Trump had pledged to eliminate that requirement. The mandate had been a key feature of so-called Obamacare – President Obama’s…

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ACLU sues to challenge FDA limits on access to abortion pill

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Tuesday in a challenge to federal restrictions that limit many women’s access to the so-called abortion pill. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii, targets long-standing restrictions imposed by the Food and Drug Administration that say the pill, marketed in the U.S. as Mifeprex, can be dispensed only in clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices. The lawsuit contends the drug — used for abortions up to 10 weeks of pregnancy — should be made available by prescription in pharmacies across the U.S. “The…

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Amazon and Google clash over YouTube access

Amazon and Google have clashed publicly after access to YouTube was pulled from one of the online retailer’s devices. On Tuesday, YouTube stopped working on Amazon’s Echo Show, a voice-controlled assistant with a screen that can display information and videos. Both companies issued statements criticising one another. Amazon said Google had blocked YouTube on Echo Show “without explanation”. Google said the Echo Show delivered a “broken user experience”. While the Echo Show could play videos from YouTube, it did not provide all of YouTube’s functions such as the ability to…

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NHS access to IVF being cut in England

Some areas of England are cutting back on IVF fertility treatment to save money, a charity believes. Fertility Network UK, which monitors provision, says the situation is worsening and in stark contrast to that in Scotland, where women can get three full cycles of NHS-funded treatment. An NHS England spokesman said Clinical Commissioning Groups had “to balance demands on the NHS locally”. IVF treatment has been restricted or halted in 13 areas since January. Eight other parts of England are consulting on taking similar steps, says the charity. It is…

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Australian PM seeks access to encrypted messages

The Australian government says it wants new laws to force tech firms such as Apple and Facebook to provide access to encrypted messages. Some apps such as WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption, making messages unreadable if intercepted. Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned that encrypted messaging apps could be used by criminals and terrorists. But security experts say strong encryption protects citizens’ privacy. What’s the issue? Many countries, including Australia, have laws in place that can force messaging services to hand over a suspect’s communications to police with an appropriate…

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