Apple wants official permission to test new drone program

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Apple drone
Who wouldn't want their new iPhone delivered via drone?
Photo: Eric Huisman

Apple is one of a number of big companies seeking permission to be part of a new U.S. drone testing program, launched by President Donald Trump last year.

With the government now opening up applications for the new program, Apple has joined other tech giants including Amazon, Intel and Qualcomm in applying. It’s not yet clear what Apple is interested in achieving with its drone ambitions, although companies such as Amazon have been outspoken about their desire to pursue drone deliveries.

Trump praises Apple during first State of the Union address

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona.
Trump and Apple seem to be on the same side for once.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

During last night’s State of the Union address, President Donald Trump singled out Apple as a company that benefitted from Republican tax cuts — and is now giving back as a result.

“Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker,” Trump said. “Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers. This is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.”

Apple spent a fortune lobbying Trump administration in 2017

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona.
Apple took exception to Donald Trump throughout last year. And beyond.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

Apple ramped up its lobbying spend in 2017, shelling out $7 million to battle many of the regulations and proposed new laws issued by the Trump administration.

Under Tim Cook, amount spent by Apple on lobbying efforts has more than doubled. However, while last year’s figure was a personal record for the company, it is less than many other big tech giants spent. During the same period, Google spent $18 million on lobbying efforts, while Amazon spent $12.8 million, and Facebook spent $11.5 million.

Apple joins other tech giants in opposing plans to end DACA

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona.
Apple is clashing with President Trump over calls to end the DACA program.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

Apple has added its name to a letter of support for a legal challenge to President Trump’s attempts to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. when they were minors.

Other tech companies to sign the brief include IBM, Google, Lyft, Microsoft, Twitter, and others.

Tim Cook defends 250 Apple employees at risk of deportation

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Tim WWDC
Tim Cook is opposed to President Trump on immigration issues.
Photo: Apple

Over the weekend, Tim Cook shared a post on Twitter, showing his support for the 250 of his Apple colleagues who entered the United States illegally as children — who currently benefit from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection. Cook described how these employees, “deserve our respect as equals.”

His tweet comes as President Donald Trump is reportedly set to scrap the legal protections offered under the DACA program, which keeps close to 800,000 young men and women safe from deportation.

Tim Cook signs letter supporting DACA immigration rights in U.S.

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Tim WWDC
Silicon Valley supports the rights of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as kids.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has joined the CEOs of Microsoft, Amazon, HP, Google, and others in signing a letter from immigration reform group FWD.us.

The letter asks that President Donald Trump keep in place legal protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Without this protection, they could be subject to deportation.

Tim Cook pushes Trump for compulsory coding classes for kids

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Tim Cook discusses Apple's enterprise ambitions at BoxWorks in San Francisco, September 2015.
Tim Cook thinks coding is one of today's most important subjects.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

During Monday’s White House meeting with President Donald Trump, Tim Cook pushed for the U.S. government to make coding a required class for kids.

This is something Cook has publicly discussed before. When Apple debuted its kid-focused Swift Playgrounds app, he said, “We believe coding should be a required language in all schools.”

Trump’s visa crackdown will likely upset Silicon Valley

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona.
President Trump may butt heads with Apple again.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

As if Silicon Valley needed another reason to not approve of President Donald Trump, the White House has started to deliver on its promise of cracking down on work visas given to overseas workers — many of whom toil in the tech industry.

This week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency issued a memo detailing moves it intends to make to fight “fraud and abuse” of the program, while also warning employers that they shouldn’t discriminate against U.S. workers in their hiring.

iPhone-toting woman assails Sean Spicer in Apple store

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Sean Spicer at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Sean Spicer at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

White House press secretary and part-time Melissa McCarthy impersonator Sean Spicer’s trip to the Apple store this weekend was a complete disaster. And it had nothing to do with iPhones.

While purchasing what appears to be an Apple Watch Sport, Spicer got confronted by an Indian-American woman who asked him, “You know you work for a fascist, right?”

The entire confrontation got caught on video as Spicer tried to smile his way through the questions before telling the woman the United States is “such a great country that allows you to be here.”

Foxconn chairman says Trump should pay to get iPhone made in USA

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Foxconn Wisconsin
Foxconn doesn't want to be forced to choose between China and the US.
Photo: Foxconn

If President Donald Trump wants Apple to bring iPhone manufacturing to the United States, America needs to open up its wallet first, according to the company that actually assembles the devices.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou said that if Trump truly wants iPhones to be made in America, he’ll need to push new laws through Congress that offer incentives and tax breaks to foreign companies.