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, brutal winter intensifies and the debt-limit bill.
Personal security and freedom
Homeland Security to Purchase 75.1 Million Rounds of Ammunition This Year
GAO reports that DHS has over 70,000 firearm-carrying personnel and that the ammo purchases go largely to firearm training and qualification requirements.
Homeland Security to Purchase 141,000 Rounds of Hollow Point Ammo
Purchased rounds — hollow-point bullets — just happen to be completely unsuitable for training purposes because they cost significantly more money compared to standard firing range bullets, contradicting claims by the DHS that the bullets were merely for training purposes and were bought in bulk to save money.
City Buses Outfitted With Spy Cameras
Sophisticated new 360-degree lenses embedded in the ceilings and walls of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority buses will now capture everything. And on some buses, there will even be flat screens for passengers to see what is going on.
TSA Wants New Generation of Body Scanners
“People being scanned should not be required to significantly alter walking paths or divest beyond current procedures. An ultimate goal is to significantly reduce divesting of personal items such as shoes and reach a ‘screen-while-walk’ operational capability,” the document notes.
Preteen Pupils Act Out Drug and Rape Scenes from Grand Theft Auto
A head teacher has sent a letter to parents after becoming aware of “extremely concerning behavior” of pupils, some as young as six, which he puts down to a violent video game.
Brutal winter intensifies
Deadly Storm Socks South with Crippling Ice, Snow
The agency warned travelers in the South not to drive. It encouraged families “to maintain an emergency supply kit both at home and in the car to help prepare for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.”
People Abandoning Cars on Snow-Covered Roads in North Carolina
People went to work early Wednesday morning, but all left at the same time once the snow started falling between 9 and 11 a.m., causing gridlock on the snow-coated roads. Plows are having difficulty treating the roads because of the traffic. Some people have already resorted to abandoning their cars.
Storm Kills At Least 13 in the South, Will Dump up to 14 Inches of Snow on New York
AccuWeather Meteorologist Tom Kines says the snow will begin to fall around midnight and last through most of Thursday. The latest National Weather Service forecast map shows that the city will likely get between 10 and 14 inches, depending on whether precipitation changes over to rain during the day.
Psychiatrist: ‘There Has Been a Tremendous Amount’ of Seasonal Affective Disorder This Winter
Dr. Norman Rosenthal, the clinical psychiatrist who first described the condition, defines it on his website as “a type of depression that occurs regularly, every autumn and winter, when the days get short and dark, though it may occur at other times as well.”
Debt limit bill
Senate Passes ‘Clean’ Debt-Ceiling Bill
The Senate passed the “clean” debt-ceiling bill, sending the legislation to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill suspends the debt limit until March 15, 2015.
How John Boehner Decided to Give Up on the Debt Limit Fight
For the past week, Boehner said, he had gone through all of the possible options with the conference, had mulled a variety of scenarios, all with the hope of getting 200-plus Republicans united. But nothing ever gained traction — not even the military pension fix.
Debt Up $2.7 Trillion in 2.5 Years Under Boehner Debt-Limit Deals
So far, under Speaker Boehner’s debt-limit deals, the national debt has been increasing at a rate of $1.9 trillion per year. That works out to an average of approximately $9,315 in new federal debt per year for each of the approximately 115,006,000 households the Census Bureau estimates there are in the country.
Sen. Ted Cruz Warns GOP Establishment: ‘Come November, the People Remember’
“Some members of Congress care so much about being praised by the Washington media that they’re willing to mortgage our children’s future. They pretend we don’t have a problem and can just kick the can down the road.”
Sen. McConnell Sparks Conservative Ire With Debt Limit Vote
The Senate Conservatives Fund, a national conservative group, also tweeted out their discontent with the senator. “Mitch McConnell just voted with the Democrats to advance yet another debt limit increase. Kentucky deserves better,” the group tweeted.
The Money and Markets Team