Meantime, there are new developments in Apple`s fight with the federal government over an order to hack into a phone used by one of the

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federal government over an order to hack into a phone used by one of the

San Bernardino shooters.>

sparking a public fight between Apple and the government. More tech giants

are now backing Apple, including Facebook and Twitter.>

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Meantime, there are new developments in Apple`s fight with the federal government over an order to hack into a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apparently, it is something that the tech giant has done in the past. Here`s NBC`s Joe Fryer.

(Begin VT)

JOE FRYER: Federal agents Thursday taking evidence from the home of a relative of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.

MAN: Can I talk to you real quick about the raid this morning? Excuse me, can I talk to you?

JOE FRYER: But what the feds really want is access inside Farook`s iPhone, sparking a public fight between Apple and the government. More tech giants are now backing Apple, including Facebook and Twitter. CEO Jack Dorsey writing, "We stand with Tim Cook and Apple and thank him for his leadership." A judge is ordering the company to create new software to unlock Farook`s phone.

CHRIS SWECKER (Former FBI Assistant Director): To deny-- deny government access under court order, you know, that-- that just creates safe havens for all different kinds of bad guys.

JOE FRYER: Major tech companies get thousands of requests from law enforcement each year to hand over customer data. And in many cases, faced with valid subpoenas or search warrants, the companies comply. In a court case last year in New York, prosecutors noted Apple has repeatedly assisted law enforcement officers in federal criminal cases by extracting data from passcode-locked iPhones, saying Apple had complied with at least seventy court orders since 2008. But for Apple, the San Bernardino case is very different. You see, Apple can extract data from phones with older operating systems, IOS 7 and earlier. But Farook`s phone is running on a newer more secure system, IOS 9, and Apple says it cannot extract any data from those devices because they`re encrypted. The company would have to build a so- called backdoor to get inside. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak tells CNBC backdoors are a bad idea.

STEVE WOZNIAK: I believe that Apple`s brand recognition and value and profits is largely based on an item called trust and trust means you believe somebody. You believe you`re buying a phone with encryption. It shouldn`t have hidden backdoors.

JOE FRYER: Apple now has another week to respond to the court order in this battle over privacy and security.

For TODAY, Joe Fryer, NBC News, Los Angeles.

(End VT)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: All right. Let`s turn back to Dylan who is in for Al this morning.

DYLAN DREYER: And we have some really cool video of a firenado in Missouri.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Wow.

DYLAN DREYER: The definition is a spinning vortex of flame.

NATALIE MORALES: It`s amazing. Wow.

DYLAN DREYER: It didn`t cause any damage, but it was part of a wildfire. Sometimes these wildfires are so huge that they create their own wind. It`s windy in that area anyway and it did help to spread this fire. There have been no injuries reported. It`s more just a brush that caught fire. And we are still looking at conditions today that could lead to the spread of wildfires. It`s very dry. Humidity is down around fifteen percent and it`s also very windy. Look at all of these high wind warnings and high wind advisories. Fifty-five million people could see very gusty winds today, perhaps in excess of sixty-five miles per hour, especially across the Northern Plains. So as we go through the day today, we`ll see these winds start to spread into the Midwest. We`ll see gusts as high as thirty-five to forty-five again with some isolated higher gusts. And that combined with temperatures well up into the sixties and seventies does create those conditions for fires to spread. It`s all out ahead of this cold front and back behind it where we are looking at very gusty conditions. Up and down the East Coast, not a whole lot going on. Temperatures should be above average topping out the mid-forties.

That`s a look at the weather across the country. Now here`s a peek out your window.

(Weather follows)

DYLAN DREYER: That`s your latest forecast.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: All right. Dylan, thank you.

Coming up, what questions do you have for us today? On Trending, it is the return of the Friday fishbowl.

WILLIE GEIST: We always love that.

And next, the alarming late season surge in flu cases nationwide. What you can do to protect your family, right after this.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We`re back, seven forty-three. This morning, hospitals across the country are reporting a dramatic rise in flu cases.

WILLIE GEIST: NBC medical contributor Doctor Natalie Azar is here with what you need to know when it comes to protecting your family. Natalie, always good to see you.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Good morning.

NATALIE AZAR: Good to see you guys. Good morning.

WILLIE GEIST: Let`s start off by taking a look at CDC`s latest map and we`re seeing that the flu really is starting to pick up.

NATALIE AZAR: Yeah.

WILLIE GEIST: How do you account for this?

NATALIE AZAR: So-- well, it`s a little late in the season, generally speaking--

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah.

NATALIE AZAR: --but not too late. We always say that the flu season is going to start in the fall, it`s going to go through May. One thing that I want to point out about the map though is that it is last week`s map. The CDC comes out with their weekly surveillance towards the late morning. So in a couple hours, we`re going to have a brand new map. But importantly, when we reached out to doctors and hospitals across the country, they have certainly validated that we are seeing a significant uptick in the number of cases. In some-- in some places, double than what we`ve seen even last week.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: So seeing more flu, is it particularly severe?

NATALIE AZAR: So that question, Savannah, is a little hard to answer at this point. There are a number of different indicators that the CDC uses to try to determine the severity of the season. While they have some, they don`t have all of those indicators. Again, the people we reached out to have said that they have seen, and the CDC is confirming, that we`re seeing a range of severity from mild to severe. But importantly, there have been some cases again in these young adults that we generally think are sort of the-- the not so vulnerable group who`ve been-- who`ve gotten severe illness that has required intensive care. So, you know, I-- I always want to point that out. We know that the-- the most vulnerable groups again are the people over the age of sixty-five and kids under the age of two as well as people with chronic illnesses. But if you`re not vaccinated and you`re an otherwise healthy, middle-aged adult, middle-aged, you know, you-- you could still get a severe illness if you get the flu.

WILLIE GEIST: Does that map and this late surge tell us anything about this year`s flu vaccine? I know last year it wasn`t terribly effective.

NATALIE AZAR: Yes.

WILLIE GEIST: What about this year`s?

NATALIE AZAR: This year, happily, I can tell you that the main circulating strain out there which is the H1N1 is covered by this year`s vaccine. So the predominant strain, again that`s circulating, is covered by this year`s vaccine. I`m reiterating that because a lot of people last year were saying why should I bother getting vaccinated as it`s not going to match.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Is it too late to get vaccinated now?

NATALIE AZAR: Absolutely not.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Oh.

NATALIE AZAR: We see-- we see flu season go well into early May. It takes about two weeks to-- to develop antibodies after you get vaccinated. So really now-- now that we`re seeing we`re kind of in the-- in the early stages of this surge of cases, it is not too late. We recommend vaccinations for everybody over the age of six months. Lots of different vaccines available as well as anti-viral treatment, if you are a candidate for it. Please speak to your clinician or healthcare provider if you think you are infected.

WILLIE GEIST: Always good information. Doctor Natalie Azar, thanks so much.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I got my flu shot from you.

NATALIE AZAR: Oh, yes.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And feel terrific.

WILLIE GEIST: How did that go?

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Great.

WILLIE GEIST: Good.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Super.

NATALIE AZAR: It went so well.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Yeah. Just ahead on POPStart, Adele teams up with Ellen to pull off the ultimate hidden camera prank.

WILLIE GEIST: And Photoshop fail. The battle over this image that`s raging from the campaign trail to social media. But first, these messages.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

WILLIE GEIST: So we`re back now at seven fifty. Getting a lot of recommendations on what Savannah should do with the boot.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I know. We need to bedazzle it. Bedazzle the boot. I think we might try to do that next week.

WILLIE GEIST: I think we should. Do you have a bedazzling gun at home you could use?

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I do. And you know what?

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I never thought about it for this but it does have multiple uses.

NATALIE MORALES: You could do this.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Yes.

WILLIE GEIST: Let`s make it beautiful.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Yeah.

WILLIE GEIST: All right. We`re back with a photo tied to the presidential race getting a lot of attention this morning. Carson has that story in the Orange Room.

CARSON DALY: Just a little more attention than your boot. But that`s-- this is crazy. Follow along with me if you can. The Cruz campaign, they shared this image on Thursday of Senator Marco Rubio shaking hands with the President, right? There it is. But not so fast. Quickly, this is a stock image. It surfaced pointing out that Cruz`s team had Photoshopped that picture of Rubio and-- with Rubio and Obama`s faces on it. Let me just show you how this is going to work here. All right. There is the stock photo. Watch what happens. Here`s the example of the Photoshop, right there.

DYLAN DREYER: Oh, because they`re shaking with their left hands.

CARSON DALY: So they literally just put Rubio and the President`s face on that stock photo. So quickly, immediately, the #CruzPhotoshop just took off online. Rubio was basically edited into everything imaginable. So this is going around. There he is, Mona Lisa--

NATALIE MORALES: That`s not a good look for him.

CARSON DALY: --Luke Skywalker. He was in space. He made the famous Oscar photo there. But then Cruz became quickly the meme victim getting his own Star Wars mockup right here with Princess-- Princess Leia down there. You see that Princess Leia. Then, there`s Miley`s wrecking ball. Bring this whole thing full circle. Overnight, the Cruz campaign did replace the edited image with a real handshake between Rubio and Obama, but not quick enough to beat that trend. Guys.

WILLIE GEIST: You know what, it was so bad it was almost looked like it was intentional. The left-handed handshake.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Yeah.

NATALIE MORALES: But, you know, you could just totally see by the handshake.

DYLAN DREYER: Like a reverse handshake.

NATALIE MORALES: Yeah.

WILLIE GEIST: And then they had the real picture. Why not go with that first?

NATALIE MORALES: Yeah.

WILLIE GEIST: All right. Carson, thanks so lot.

CARSON DALY: All right, guys.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The internet was there for us with all the memes.

Coming up, another photo that took the internet by storm this week. What hot grandpa has inspired all of you guys to do.

NATALIE MORALES: I love this.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: After your local news.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

JILL MARTIN: Do you feel relaxed?

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Yeah.

WILLIE GEIST: Never more so.

NATALIE MORALES: Don`t wake me up.

JILL MARTIN: A special beauty edition of Steals & Deals coming up at eight thirty.

DYLAN DREYER: Jill, you`re moving too much.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: It`s eight o`clock on TODAY. Coming up, when faith and families collide.

CANDY: You just have no idea the nightmare that we have been going through.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Meet the parents who say they lost their daughter to a secretive religion.

Then everybody get Goldie.

GOLDIE HAWN: I`m an actress.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The legendary actress opens up about fame, family and the surprising new work that may be her greatest accomplishment yet.

GOLDIE HAWN: Is this the most important thing I`ve ever done? I`d have to say probably.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And hello, Jamba Juice.

ELLEN DEGENERES: Swishy chug.

ADELE: Swishy chug.

ELLEN DEGENERES: Swishy chug.

MAN: Swishy chug.

ELLEN DEGENERES: Swishy chug.

ADELE: Swishy chug.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We`ll show you how Ellen helps Adele pull off the perfect prank, today, Friday, February 19, 2016.

WOMAN #1: I`m turning twenty-one in New York.

WOMAN #2: I`m here to celebrate my thirty-second birthday all the way from Houston, Texas.

WOMAN #3: Good morning, Tabor City, North Carolina. It`s my birthday. Hi, kids.

WOMAN #4: Good morning, Syracuse. It`s our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

MAN: Good morning, Syracuse. It`s our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

GIRL #1: We`re skipping school to dance in New York City.

GIRL #2: We`re skipping school to dance in New York City.

WOMAN #5: All the way from Waco, Texas, to meet Wrangler.

WOMAN #6: All the way from Waco, Texas, to meet Wrangler.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Good morning, everybody. It`s Friday, February 19th. Thirty-two degrees on our plaza, great crowd out here. Everyone is in a super good mood. We love it. And I love our boot, ladies. Thank you so-- I`m going to check out your wares. The medical boot is apparently just not fancy enough. We need to bling it out.

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah. We need

CARSON DALY: We got to accessorize.

WILLIE GEIST: Exactly.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We`ll do a show called like Pimp My Ride, Pimp My Boot.

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah.

CARSON DALY: Yeah. Maybe get Xzibit out here.

WILLIE GEIST: Wow. Great call back, Xzibit.

All right. Coming up, Jill Martin is here with a special Steals & Deals to help drive away your winter blues, including a big deal on nail polish that the ladies cannot stop raving about it.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I know.

WILLIE GEIST: And Carson and I are suffering the consequences.

CARSON DALY: Yes, we are.

DYLAN DREYER: I`ve already got a smudge. I have a smudge.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Me, too.

DYLAN DREYER: Yeah.

CARSON DALY: And don`t forget, you`ve only got one week left for your chance at the ultimate wedding. We`ve partnered with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 from our sister company, Universal, to give you the best day ever including a party at the historic New York landmark, the famous Rainbow Room. Just send us your video sharing your love story featuring your family and you can be chosen for the Big Fat TODAY Show wedding. Go to today.com/wedding for all the rules and regulations.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Okay. Sounds good. Thank you, Carson.

Now let`s head inside to Natalie who`s got a check of the morning`s top stories.

NATALIE MORALES: All right. Guys, good morning once again.

Well, for the presidential candidates, it`s the final full day of campaigning before tomorrow`s big contest in Nevada and South Carolina. NBC`s White House Correspondent Kristen Welker is in Las Vegas. Kristen, good morning.

END

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