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By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Electric vehicle charging companies are calling for independent oversight of the $2 billion Volkswagen AG is required to invest in clean car infrastructure, saying VW should not have the power to shape the nascent electric car charging space. The German automaker agreed to invest the money, which includes $1.2 billion nationally and $800 million in California, as part of its penalties for equipping hundreds of thousands of its diesel vehicles sold in the United States with software designed to cheat tailpipe emissions tests. While charging station companies called the money a potential “game changer,” they worry that if it is misspent, it could hurt competition.

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook plans to visit Beijing later this month to meet high-level government officials, at a time when it is facing some setbacks in its most important overseas market, a source familiar with the matter said. Cook has frequently traveled to China since taking the helm of Apple five years ago, but his latest visit comes during a critical period. Last week, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said in an interview with cable television network CNBC that he had sold his entire stake in Apple, citing China's economic slowdown and worries about whether the government could make it very difficult for Apple to conduct business.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday partly dismissed a lawsuit filed by Twitter Inc in which the social media company argued it should be allowed to publicly disclose more details about requests for information it receives from the U.S. government. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California also gave Twitter the opportunity to re-file its lawsuit to include more details about government decision-making, in order to try to move its claims forward. (Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bill Rigby)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A Facebook Inc shareholder filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Friday in a bid to stop the company's plan to issue new Class C stock, calling the move a “patent attempt” to entrench chief executive Mark Zuckerberg as controlling shareholder.

Israel's Cellebrite, a provider of mobile forensic software, is helping the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's attempt to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Wednesday. If Cellebrite succeeds, then the FBI will no longer need the help of Apple Inc , the Israeli daily said, citing unnamed industry sources. Apple is engaged in a legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department over a judge's order that it write new software to disable passcode protection on the iPhone used by the shooter.

U.S. prosecutors said Monday that a “third party” had presented a possible method for opening an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, a development that could bring an abrupt end to the high-stakes legal showdown between the government and Apple Inc. A federal judge in Riverside, California, late Monday agreed to the government's request to postpone a hearing scheduled for Tuesday so that prosecutors could try the newly discovered technique. The Justice Department said it would update the court on April 5. The government had insisted until Monday that it had no way to access the phone used by Rizwan Farook, one of the two killers in the December massacre in San Bernardino, California, except to force Apple to write new software that would disable the password protection.

Britain said it will begin trialing driverless cars on motorways for the first time in 2017, as it moves toward its goal of allowing autonomous cars to take to the streets by 2020. The government said last year there were no legal barriers to the technology being tested and gave the go-ahead for vehicle trials to start on some local roads. Finance minister George Osborne will announce plans on Wednesday to test vehicles on motorways and say the government will bring forward proposals to remove regulatory barriers to the technology, the Treasury said.

By Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Monday sought to overturn a ruling which protects Apple from unlocking an iPhone in a New York drug case. A magistrate judge in Brooklyn last week ruled that the Justice Department could not compel the tech giant to unlock the phone. Prosecutors are relying on the same law in its fight against Apple in a California court, where a judge ordered Apple to unlock an encrypted phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

By Alexandria Sage and Paul Lienert SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT(Reuters) – Google's self-driving car team is expanding and hiring more people with automotive industry expertise, underscoring the company's determination to move the division past the experimental stage. The operation now employs at least 170 workers, according to a Reuters review of their profiles on LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network. Many are software and systems engineers, and some come from other departments at Google.

Google will need to add to the number of partners to develop the next phase of its self-driving project, but the president of that project did not name any of those partners-to-be. John Krafcik, president of the Google self-driving project, in a speech on Tuesday at an auto industry conference in Detroit, did not mention the name of any automaker or say whether it would partner with any automakers to build a fully autonomous car. Krafick said Google wants to form some partnerships in 2016.