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, the Iran deal and world news.
Personal security and freedom
‘Abuse-Free’ Child Pornography Advertised at Bus Stop in Spain
The poster bore the word “Freedom” in large letters over the image of a semi-naked little girl. The text of the ad said, “Send us naked photos of when you were a child. For child pornography without abuse. +18 Yes to Pedophilia. No to Abuse.”
Snowden Swiped Password From NSA Coworker
A civilian NSA employee recently resigned after being stripped of his security clearance for allowing former agency contractor Edward Snowden to use his personal log-in credentials to access classified information, according to an agency memo obtained by NBC News.
‘Silent War’ on Religion
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blasted the “silent war” that he said is undermining the nation’s basic principles: “It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”
Larry King: ‘I’ve Never Seen Bias’ On or Off Air
“I’ve never seen anyone say, let’s go get this person today, let’s really ram it into him. I’ve never seen it. If a Democrat or Republican commits some horrendous story, the story will run, the networks will cover it.”
Homeland Security to Activate ‘National License Plate Recognition Database’
The Department of Homeland Security is set to activate a national license plate tracking system that will be shared with law enforcement, allowing DHS officers to take photos of any license plate using their smartphone and upload it to a database which will include a “hot list” of “target vehicles.”
Iranian TV Host Mocks Obama
An Iranian TV host on Thursday derided President Barack Obama’s vow to come down like “a ton of bricks” on firms that violate sanctions against Iran, suggesting that the U.S. president take just one brick and knock it against his own head.
Bank Sets Aside $1.1 Billion for Possible U.S. Sanctions Fine
France’s biggest listed bank has set aside $1.1 billion for a possible fine for breaching U.S. sanctions on countries including Iran, the latest bank to take a hit to profit from a legal investigation. The sanctioned countries at issue in the BNP investigation also include Iran, Sudan and Cuba.
Lawmaker Demands Obama Release Text of Iran Nuclear Deal
The agreement, which took effect in January, requires Iran to reduce its uranium enrichment activities in return for a loosening of international sanctions. But Congress has no way to judge its implementation, unless it has a copy of the agreement.
U.S. Curbs Carrier Presence in Persian Gulf to Aid Iran Nuke Talks
The U.S.’s lone naval carrier in the Persian Gulf has spent more time outside the region than in — primarily due to the Obama administration’s willingness to bend to Iran’s will in order to ensure a successful nuclear deal, a military analyst suggested.
China Trade Surplus Jumps to $32 billion
China’s trade surplus jumped to $31.9 billion in January, easing concerns the world’s second-largest economy may be stuck in a slowdown. The positive trade figures also add to expectations China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest trading nation this year.
China Flexes its Muscles in U.S.-led Military Exercises
The U.S. is leading the largest multinational military exercise in the Asia-Pacific region, and Chinese media are hailing Beijing’s first-time participation in the annual drill as proof that the communist nation’s “regional military impact” cannot be ignored.
Army Sent Into Venezuelan Cities as Unrest Prompts Coup Warning
Venezuelan troops fanned out across the capital, Caracas, and other major cities on Thursday after President Nicolás Maduro ordered a military clampdown against deadly unrest that he warned was part of a “fascist” coup plot.
Europe Considers Wholesale Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution
The Commission will ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing,” the document said.” Mobilize, once again, is a more palatable word than, say, confiscate.
The Money and Markets Team