This week in news


Flickr user Mike Deerkoski

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Alex Hanson

Miss the news this week? Read our recap of the biggest stories below, then test your knowledge with our news quiz here.

Federal government approves Iowa’s Medicaid plan

Federal officials ended months of speculation on if Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to “modernize” Medicaid in the state would go forward.

After an original delay, the Center’s for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS), informed the governor that the plan could go into effect after one more month-long delay. 

“We’re pleased that CMS has approved Iowa’s plan to provide a better system for Medicaid patients on April 1,” Branstad said. “Iowa is ready for a new system that provides access through more doctors and will create a more sustainable Medicaid program for taxpayers.”

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said she was happy CMS saw through the “partisan politics” surrounding the move. Democrats have argued privatizing the program, which serves several hundred thousand low-income Ioawn’s, would result in a loss of doctors and worse care.

Apple continues fight against federal government 

The fight between technology giant Apple and federal government over unlocking the phone of the San Bernardino shooter continued this week, with Apple filing an order to vacate the court order.

“This is not a case about one isolated iPhone. Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe,” Apple’s attorneys wrote in the filing, according to ABC News.

The government has argued that authorities need Apple to unlock the terrorism suspects iPhone, which they have obtained access to legally, but which they are unable to unlock. 

Apple has argued that creating software to fight the encryption would create a precedent that is dangerous to its customers. 

“I think safety of the public is incredibly important — safety of our kids, safety of our family is very important,” CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with ABC News this week. “The protection of people’s data is incredibly important, and so the trade-off here is we know that doing this could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities.”

Trump wins third in a row heading into Super Tuesday

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump won his third state in a row on Tuesday, garnering over 45 percent of the vote in Nevada’s Republican Caucus on Tuesday.

Trump’s win follows big wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and a second place finish behind Ted Cruz in Iowa.

The next nominating contests for Republicans is this coming Tuesday on “Super Tuesday,” when the biggest number of states — this year 11 — vote on a single day. Trump looks poised to win most of the states, according to polling conducted.

Cruz has said Tuesday is important as his home state of Texas votes. Most polls show Cruz ahead, but at least one shows Trump and Cruz tied.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off Saturday in South Carolina’s Democratic primary.

Committee says no to any SCOTUS nominee hearing

A group of Republican senators charged with holding hearings to vet a Supreme Court nominee said this week that any consideration of an Obama nominee was a no go. 

Led by Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, the committee sent a leader to the Republican leadership in the Senate, writing that while President Obama has the authority to nominate a replacement to the late-Justice Antonin Scalia, the Senate has the authority to decide if they consider and vote on the nominee.

“Because our decision is based on constitutional principle and born of a necessity to protect the will of the American people, this Committee will not hold hearings on any Supreme Court nominee until after our next President is sworn in on January 20, 2017,” the committee wrote in the letter.

Along with Grassley, the letter is signed by U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., David Vitter, R-La., David Perdue, R-Ga., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

ISU athletics personel, past and present, move around

Two names — one ISU football fans know well — are moving to new jobs in the coming days.

Former head football coach Paul Rhoads is headed to Arkansas, where he has been selected as the new defensive backs coach.

Rhodes was let go from Iowa State following this past season after only winning 3 games. Matt Campbell has since been selected as a replacement. 

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Arkansas program and can’t wait to help build on the success coach Bielema and the staff have already experienced in three years,” Rhoads said in a statement from the school. “Not only does coach Bielema have a track record of building winning programs but also developing young men of great character. Both are things I’m excited to be part of.”

David Harris, currently Iowa State’s senior associate athletic director, is also making a move, although much closer than Rhodes, after being named the new director of athletics at Northern Iowa. 

“UNI is truly a special place, and my family and I are extremely excited about becoming part of the Panther family,” Harris said in a statement from UNI. “We will work together to strive for excellence in all of our endeavors in the classroom, in competition and in the way we serve and represent the Cedar Valley community.”

Harris will take over March 28.