The following is a rundown of the day’s news drawn from other media sources with topics curated just for Money and Markets readers: Personal security and freedom, Christie’s traffic jam scandal, business and finance.
Banks Say No to Marijuana Money, Legal or Not
Banks are reluctant to provide traditional services to marijuana businesses. They fear that federal regulators and law enforcement authorities might punish them, with measures like large fines, for violating prohibitions on money-laundering, among other federal laws and regulations.
Nominations for This Year’s Oscars will Prove Hollywood’s Sexism
When Hollywood unveils this year’s Oscar nominations on Thursday, the list of hopefuls will include some big names, some new pretenders, but shamefully few of that rarest thing in Tinseltown — a woman in charge.
Children Who Watch Too Much TV May Have ‘Damaged Brain Structures’
Watching too much television can change the structure of a child’s brain in a damaging way, according to a new study. Researchers found that the more time a child spent viewing TV, the more profound the brain alterations appeared to be.
This Year’s Flu Hitting the Young, Healthy
Two high-profile deaths have drawn attention to the risks for younger adults and the flu. Last week a 29-year-old mother of three died after just a few days of experiencing flu-like symptoms. Another 41-year-old man also died.
Secure Information Stolen From 70 Million Target Customers
On Friday, Target confirmed that an information breach resulting in theft of customers’ credit card information affected almost twice as many people as previously reported.
When Does a Bubble Spell Trouble?
The minutes of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting, released this past week, show that central bankers have been worrying that the financial markets might turn into a bubble — the term for a perilously overvalued situation that can burst without warning or mercy.
Quiet Start Puts U.S. Investors in a Fix
After a bang-up 2013, the stock market is starting 2014 with a whimper. The uncharacteristic dip is leaving investors in a tough position: Selling now could protect them from further declines but could also mean they would miss out on the gains most experts are still forecasting for stocks this year.
Military Could Become Google’s Largest Customer
Google CEO Larry Page has rapidly positioned Google to become an indispensable U.S. military contractor. This invites attention to Google’s broader military-contracting ambitions — especially since Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company that Google has bought in the past six months.
GM Recalling 370,000 Full-Size Trucks for Fire Risks
General Motors will recall 370,000 full-size pickups for fire risks after eight reported fires. The automaker is urging owners not to leave their trucks unattended while idling.
Americans Not in the Labor Force Hits Another Record High
While the BLS announced Friday that the unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.7 percent, much of that decline is attributable to people leaving the workforce — employers added only 74,000 jobs in December, the fewest in three years, according to the Associate Press.
Rise of al-Qaeda’s New Leader
Some describe him as a farmer who was arrested by U.S., who then became radicalized at Camp Bucca, where many al-Qaeda commanders were held. Others believe he was a radical even during the era of Saddam Hussein, and became a prominent al-Qaeda player shortly after the U.S. invasion.
Iran to Start Eliminating Uranium Stockpile This Month, White House Says
Iran has pledged to start eliminating some of its uranium stockpile on Jan. 20, the White House said Sunday. That gives an official start time for the six-month interim deal with Iran, which was first announced in November.
Iran Defends Development of Advanced Centrifuges
Iran and world powers agreed Friday on how to implement a landmark deal reached in November on containing Tehran’s nuclear program, but it must still be approved by each country before it can take effect.
U.S. War Gains in Iraq Now Lost or Threatened
When the last U.S. troops departed Iraq, they left behind an Iraq where Sunni and Shiite Muslims were sharing power in the world’s only Arab democracy. Two years later, al-Qaeda has seized major cities where hundreds of U.S. troops died while fighting alongside their Iraqi brethren.
White House Suggests Iran Sanctions Bill Could Draw U.S. into War
The White House launched a harsh attack on supporters of a Senate bill to impose fresh sanctions on Iran, suggesting that they have a hidden goal of drawing the country into another Mideast war.
The Money and Markets Team