Alina Selyukh

Alina Selyukh is a business reporter at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.

Before joining NPR in October 2015, Selyukh spent five years at Reuters, where she covered tech, telecom and cybersecurity policy, campaign finance during the 2012 election cycle, health care policy and the Food and Drug Administration, and a bit of financial markets and IPOs.

Selyukh began her career in journalism at age 13, freelancing for a local television station and several newspapers in her home town of Samara in Russia. She has since reported for CNN in Moscow, ABC News in Nebraska, and NationalJournal.com in Washington, D.C. At her alma mater, Selyukh also helped in the production of a documentary for NET Television, Nebraska's PBS station.

She received a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, news-editorial and political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The U.S. Senate has a lot going on: confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee, negotiations on repealing the Affordable Care Act, votes on gun sales regulations and bear-hunting rules for Alaska.

Compared with the Obama administration, the Trump White House has been much slower to submit its nominees' financial arrangements for review by the federal Office of Government Ethics.

A statistical report NPR obtained from OGE on Friday shows that the Trump nominees' documents have not only come in more slowly, but also have been far more complex.

The OGE shared the data with NPR in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act. OGE officials say the report was compiled for the Congressional Research Service in February.

The newly appointed Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is moving to scale back the implementation of sweeping privacy rules for Internet providers passed last year.

Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday asked the FCC to hit pause on the rollout of one part of those rules that was scheduled to go into effect next week. This marks the latest in his efforts to roll back his predecessor's regulatory moves.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

The Office of Government Ethics is back in the news as its website crashed, for the second time in less than a month, again under a flood of inquiries.

The advisory agency typically works to vet people who run the country and detangle them from financial ties that may influence their work in public office. And typically, this work happens quietly in the background when administrations transition from one president to another.

Ajit Pai, the senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, will be the country's new chief telecommunications regulator. He's a proponent of limited government and a free-market approach to regulations.

Pai's promotion within the FCC under the administration was long rumored and confirmed on Monday by his office. In a statement, Pai said he looked forward "to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans."

Citing local regulations, Apple has removed The New York Times news app from its app store in China. The incident is the latest in the long history of media restrictions in the country, but also in the ongoing pattern of tech companies getting involved in the efforts.

In November, the typically straitlaced Office of Government Ethics surprised observers with a series of tweets mimicking Donald Trump's bombastic style, exclamation points and all: "Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, good for America!"

Amazon's personal assistant device called Echo was one of the most popular gifts this Christmas. But this week, the device grabbed headlines for another reason: Police in Arkansas are trying to use its data in a murder investigation.

This story was reported by Latino USA in collaboration with All Tech Considered. The audio version of this story aired earlier on Latino USA; it is embedded below.

Micaela Honorato is looking from the sidelines as boys from her after-school program take turns racing their hand-made hovercraft on a dirt field in a city park.

The federal ethics watchdog isn't the kind of agency that typically airs its positions on Twitter — let alone in a snarky tone, with exclamation points.

But it's been an all-around weird day at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

On April 6, 2015, my mother arrived in my one-bedroom apartment after more than 24 hours of air travel and, after a quick nap, declared it was time for presents.

Out of her suitcase emerged an opaque industrial bag dotted with some austere cyrillics. Out of the bag tumbled a small pile of gruesome-looking metal parts. My trained Russian eye instantly summoned their reconstructed visual: My gift was a hand-crank meat grinder. Two-and-a-half pounds of aluminum, in a suitcase, flown overseas.

Twitter has suspended several accounts linked to the alt-right movement, which has been associated with white nationalism.

The move comes as Twitter is rolling out a series of actions to curb hate speech and abuse on its platform as criticism has mounted of the company's failure to rein in harassment, racism, sexism and anti-Semitism.

Twitter's inability to curb harassment and trolling has long plagued the social platform — by far its biggest criticism. The company is now trying something it hopes will rein in abusive users.

Twitter says it's adding new ways for users to flag or avoid seeing offensive posts in the broadest attempt yet to tackle the problem.

Samsung is offering repairs, refunds and replacements for about 2.8 million top-load washers after receiving hundreds of reports of machines vibrating excessively — in some cases, so much that the lids became detached.

The consumer electronics company, still reeling from a total recall and halt of its Galaxy Note 7 phone, is recalling 34 models of its top-load washing machines, manufactured as far back as March 2011. (Front-load washers are not affected by the recall.)

AT&T's $85.4-billion bid to buy Time Warner is now official, facing what's expected to be a tough regulatory review, given the reach and impact of the telecom and the media behemoths.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Hackers have attacked a major Internet infrastructure company, causing intermittent disruptions Friday to websites and services including Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and Airbnb.

The victim of the attack is a New Hampshire-based company called Dyn (pronounced "dine"). It might not be a household name, but Dyn is one of the companies that sit between you and some of the biggest websites and services — and help make sure that when you type in a Web address, your traffic is properly routed.

The Department of Transportation did not mince any words: Starting mid-Saturday, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be "considered a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations."

Google's products are everywhere: maps, Gmail, the Chrome browser, the Chromecast video/audio system, the Android mobile operating system, YouTube, Waze. But the company has been far less successful at selling things rather than software.

Since their launch in 2012, cellphone emergency alerts have become a frequent tool for public safety officials to alert people to missing children, warn them of impending weather calamities or notify them of dangers specific to the local community.

When a man-made disaster of unfathomable scope strikes your city and its central symbol of prosperity has been leveled to ruin — and it's your job to jolt it into resurgence — where do you begin?

Only hours had passed after the planes struck New York City's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, when then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a promise to rebuild: "We're not only going to rebuild, we're going to come out of this stronger than we were before."

Apple had waited many years to send its very first tweet. It finally happened on Wednesday, with a release of a sponsored tweet, promoting the new iPhone 7: "New cameras. Water-resistant. Stereo speakers. Longer battery life."

Except — oops! — CEO Tim Cook had yet to announce the new version of the smartphone. When he finally did, he said, as always: "It's the best iPhone that we have ever created."

We are in "one of the most dramatic periods of change in the history of transportation," says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

He was talking about all of it: the self-driving cars, the smart-city movement, the maritime innovations. But the staggering prediction of the day goes to the drone industry:

The Federal Aviation Administration expects some 600,000 drones to be used commercially within a year.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET with detail on limiting spam

The messaging service WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy for the first time since being bought by Facebook in 2014. The app will begin sharing some of its data and phone numbers with the social network. It will also start testing how businesses, too, can talk to its users, for instance by offering flight or shipping or banking notifications.

Australia launched its first online census this week but was quickly forced to shut it down after what the government said were multiple denial-of-service attacks, which purposefully inundate websites with automated requests to cause shutdowns.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said it closed down the online census form out of precaution after a fourth attack on Tuesday.

Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.8 billion, acquiring its "core Internet assets" — search, email, finance, news, sports, Tumblr, Flickr — in essence writing the final chapter of one of the longest-running Internet companies.

Yahoo has found a buyer for its core Internet business: the nation's largest telecom provider, Verizon Communications. The two companies are set to announce a $4.8-billion deal on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

When Julian Castro assumed the post of Housing and Urban Development secretary in 2014, the U.S. government already had a few programs aimed at expanding Americans' access to the Internet. It's the sort of thing that is paramount to success in the modern economy, long advocated by President Obama and other government officials.

After sniper fire struck 12 police officers at a rally in downtown Dallas, killing five, police cornered a single suspect in a parking garage. After a prolonged exchange of gunfire and a five-hour-long standoff, police made what experts say was an unprecedented decision: to send in a police robot, jury-rigged with a bomb.

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