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, Obamacare, Crimean crisis.
Personal Security and Freedom:
NSA Recorded ‘Every Single’ Call in One Country
The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.
Snowden Promises More U.S. Spying Revelations
The fugitive’s face appeared on a screen as he maneuvered the wheeled android around a stage at the TED gathering, addressing an audience in Vancouver without ever leaving his secret hideaway.
Lack of Useful Radar Exposes Defense Weakness
While Malaysia’s air force has drawn ire for its failure to track Flight 370 effectively in the early hours of March 8, military and aviation analysts say that other Asian countries have similar deficiencies.
IRS: Worker Took Home Personal Info on 20K Workers
The employee took home a computer thumb drive containing names, Social Security numbers and addresses of the workers, and plugged the drive into an unsecure home network, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an email to employees.
Airplane Pilots Hit by ‘Nearly Blinding’ Glare from Massive Californian Solar Facility
The Ivanpah solar energy plant in San Bernardino County is the world’s largest solar thermal plant and has 173,500 large mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers in three 459-foot towers. A feat of modern engineering — to green energy advocates, but a flying hazard to pilots.
Obamacare Premiums to Skyrocket
The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper Obamacare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.
Premiums Rising Faster than Eight Years Before Obamacare Combined
Between 2005 and 2013, average premiums for individual plans increased 37 percent and average family premiums were upped 31 percent. So they have risen faster under Obamacare than in the previous eight years.
FDA Prevents 6-year-old Boy from Getting Life-saving Treatment
At any given point of time, there are thousands of patients like Jack Fowler who need a drug based on a clear mechanism of action that has a clean safety trial prior to a pivotal trial.
Obama Admin Rule Change Lets Insurance Companies Keep more Profits, Pay Less for Care
HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services quietly introduced the new rule Friday, which relieves insurance companies of some of the damage about to be levied on them by Obamacare-related administrative costs.
Concerns about Cancer Centers Under Health Law
Some of America’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation’s new health care program. Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators.
Russian Forces Storm Ukraine Naval HQ in Crimea
Russian troops and unarmed men stormed Ukraine’s naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on Wednesday and raised the Russian flag in a tense but peaceful takeover that signals Moscow’s intent to neutralize any armed opposition.
Fears of War Grow as Ukrainian Officer is Killed at Military Base in Simferopol
Clinton called Russia’s move to annex Crimea “illegal” and “a violation of international law” and said that other countries near Russia could also face aggression if President Vladimir Putin is allowed to get away with his actions in Ukraine.
Biden in Europe to Reassure U.S. Allies over Russia’s Moves in Ukraine
Appearing with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Biden offered the moral support of a “steadfast ally” but promised only modest assistance to help Poland modernize its army and explore how to lessen its dependence on Russia’s natural gas.
Biden: Russia is ‘Alone, Naked’ in Front of the Entire World
In the Obama administration’s first comments after Russia took control of Crimea early Tuesday morning, Vice President Joe Biden said Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine had left it “alone” and “naked” in front of the rest of the world.
The Money and Markets Team