The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Wednesday morning, 2.17.2016

Apple defies court order to hack into San Bernardino shooters' iPhone; Dueling Republican town halls tonight; Instagram boosts security; Jeb Bush's "America" gun tweet baffles; Obama readies for long public affairs fight over high court nominee.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

New Wednesday morning: Apple says no to court order
Apple said it will resist a judge’s order to build a backdoor into an iPhone owned by the couple that killed 14 people in San Bernardino last year, saying it poses a threat to all its customers. Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a letter saying, "In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession." He encouraged a public debate on the issue.

What to watch tonight: Dueling GOP town halls
CNN’s Anderson Cooper is hosting Republican town halls in South Carolina and Nevada on Wednesday and Thursday nights, respectively, with the candidates split between the two events. The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe will moderate their own forum with Donald Trump tonight amid accusations Joe Scarborough is too cozy with the Republican frontrunner.

Instagram rolls out security enhancements
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform is debuting a two-factor authentication process to boost security and prevent breaches. Singer and Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift was the victim of a hack last year.

Jeb Bush tweets gun picture. Internet goes crazy
The struggling Republican candidate tweeted a picture of a gun on Tuesday with the simple caption "America." Critics took aim at the post on social media, calling it everything from irresponsible to pandering.

Obama: Constitution clear on Supreme Court next steps
President Obama made headlines on Tuesday when he said he’s confident Donald Trump won’t be the next president. He also indicated he’s not backing down from a long public affairs fight over a replacement for Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Aides indicated he’ll pick a nominee acceptable to many Republicans. California Attorney General Kamala Harris said she’s not interested.

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