The following is a rundown of the day’s news drawn from other media sources with topics curated just for Money and Markets readers: Obamacare, global warming and the New York City mayoral inauguration.
Health-Law Challenge Opens New Front
The nuns faced ruinous fines if they failed to provide health-insurance coverage for birth control. They would have to pay “an annual fine of approximately $2.5 million — for an organization that cares for 69 elderly poor people and operates with an annual budget of approximately $6 million.”
Justice Halts Obama Contraception Rule for Catholic Nuns
The request by the nuns was one of four lodged with the court yesterday by groups claiming the administration isn’t doing enough to accommodate religious objections to the contraceptive rule. The requirement stems from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
University Banishes Word ‘Obamacare’
Michigan’s Lake Superior State University announced its 39th annual list of words “banished” from the language. Politically themed words the school said people grew tired of in 2013 include “Obamacare,” the nickname for the Affordable Care Act that became the most-used label for the law.
Doctors, Hospitals Expect Confusion as Obamacare Starts
After a difficult October launch plagued by problems with the website used to enroll people in coverage, the focus now for the government and health-care providers has turned to what will happen beginning Wednesday, when patients with the new coverage start to seek care.
Soaring Premiums ‘Sucker Punch’ Middle Class
In Washington state, Obamacare will increase the underlying cost of individually purchased health insurance by 34 to 80 percent on average, according to Forbes. The list goes on and on and includes Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina. But premiums are just the beginning.
‘World’s Climate Warming Faster than Feared,’ Scientists Say
The study comes amid a controversy in Australia over claims by Maurice Newman, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s top business adviser, who said the world had been taken “hostage to climate change madness.”
‘Global Warming’ Scientists to Be Rescued After Being Trapped in Ice
The eagerly anticipated rescue came after days of failed attempts to reach the ship. Blinding snow, strong winds, fog and thick sea ice forced rescuers to turn back time and again.
Blizzard to Reach From NYC to Boston Thursday Night
The storm will affect more than 70 million people. It will be far from the worst storm to ever hit the area, but people should be prepared for flight delays and cancellations because of direct and indirect impacts from the far-reaching storm. Some roads may even close for a time.
U.S. Ushers in 2014 With Record-Low Temperatures and Snow
Temperatures are expected to be 20 to 30 degrees below normal in North Dakota and Minnesota, while a line of snow showers will move across the area. The heaviest snow is expected to develop in the Dakotas, southern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Winnipeg Deep Freeze Is as Cold as Uninhabited Planet
In terms of astonishing weather facts, it doesn’t get much more impressive than being as cold as a distant planet for a day. The Manitoba Museum is reporting Winnipeg’s temperatures on Tuesday were actually as cold as the surface of Mars.
De Blasio Inauguration Both Populist and Tightly Controlled
The inauguration, which was touted beforehand as “one of the most open and accessible swearing-in events in New York City history,” also provided a window into how the administration will handle the new crush of attention.
Historic Bible Goes Missing After de Blasio Swearing In
The FDR bible used by Mayor Bill de Blasio for his swearing in vanished after the New Year’s Day ceremony, sparking a panicked, hours-long search for the historic tome.
De Blasio Inauguration Starts With ‘Plantation’ Rhetoric
“Let the plantation called New York City be the city of God, a city set upon the hill, a light shining in darkness. Make our crooked places straight and our rough places smooth. Oh God, oh God, oh God, break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.”
Year of the Progressives
The reemergence of a Democratic left will be one of the major stories of 2014. Moderates, don’t be alarmed. The return of a viable, vocal left will actually be good news for the political center.
Upcoming Snowstorm Puts Heat on New Mayors
Snowstorms are a huge challenge for any city, and new mayors in New York City and Detroit are about to face their first big test. A foot of snow or more is forecast for many areas late Thursday, and temperatures are expected to plummet, with some cities seeing highs just above zero.
The Money and Markets Team