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, federal budget and ethics and values.
NSA Officials Consider Edward Snowden Amnesty in Return for Documents
The NSA official told CBS News that amnesty still remains controversial within the agency, which has spent the past six months defending itself against a global outcry.
NSA Speaks Out on Snowden, Spying
“We need to help the American people understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. And to put it simply, we’re doing two things: We’re defending this country from future terrorist attacks and we’re defending our civil liberties and privacy.”
New York Post Backs Michael Moore Bush-Saudi Claims from ‘Fahrenheit 911’
The story could just as easily have been called “Inside the Bush Cover-Up.” It’s amazing that NY Post editor Col Allan ran it, and that Rupert Murdoch would have approved it. The Post has always mocked Michael Moore, and certainly backed George W. Bush endlessly.
Revelations That Ikea Spied on Its Employees Stir Outrage in France
Ikea’s investigations were conducted for various reasons, including the vetting of job applicants, efforts to build cases against employees accused of wrongdoing, and even attempts to undermine the arguments of consumers bringing complaints against the company.
Teacher Disciplined for ‘Santa Is White’ Remark
“The remark was inappropriate and should not have been made. The teacher feels very badly about what occurred,” district spokeswoman Kim Vesely told the AP in an email. “He self-reported the incident to the principal and has apologized to the student and to the student’s parents.”
Republicans Invite a Job-Killing Raise in the Minimum Wage
A job-killing minimum-wage increase is probably inevitable. Republicans must man up when the administration increases the pressure for raising the minimum wage early in the New Year. It’s a small hope, but it’s all we’ve got.
Ryan Defends Reduction to Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Early Military Retirees
“We give them a slightly smaller adjustment for inflation because they’re still in their working years and in most cases earning another paycheck,” Ryan said. “Our goal here is to make sure that no other country comes close to matching the U.S. military.”
Budget Deal Still Short of Votes to Pass Senate
“The struggle is still on in the United States Senate. We will need about eight Republicans to come our way. I feel we’ll have a good strong showing from the Democratic side, but we need bipartisan support to pass it,” Durbin, of Illinois, said on the CBS “Face the Nation” program.
Budget Deal Happened ‘Because Obama Wasn’t Part of the Negotiations’
He is not a good negotiator. Paul Ryan is a conservative, but the philosophy that he employed here is very significant: sitting down with the Democrats and saying, what is our common ground? What can we agree on? And it is indeed small, but it’s a step forward.
Budget Deal Lauded by Lawmakers Belies U.S. Fiscal Rigors
Members of Congress are congratulating themselves on a budget accord set to win final passage this week. Business leaders aren’t celebrating, saying the deal leaves too much unfinished business.
Pope Francis Says He Is No Marxist
He said his condemnations of the inequality caused by the current global economic system were not intended to be an expert analysis and were only a reiteration of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. “That does not mean being a Marxist,” he said.
Limbaugh: Pope Going ‘Beyond Catholicism’?
Speaking to an Italian newspaper today, the pope described Marxism as “wrong,” but refused to condemn people who hold left-wing views. The comment came after the Pontiff railed against the “new tyranny” of unfettered capitalism in an 84-page document published last month.
Pope Francis Gives Gifts to Rome’s Poor
The Vatican has announced that 2,000 envelopes containing free public transport tickets and telephone cards will be distributed in the Italian capital in the next few days by nuns from the order of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who serve meals to the poor and the homeless.
Mystery ‘Tips for Jesus’ Tipper Identified in NYC
The generous mystery tipper who has been leaving waiters and waitresses across the country thousands of dollars in “Tips for Jesus” — and stamped with the @tipsforjesus handle — was identified by a New York City waiter as Jack Selby, former PayPal vice president.
Uruguay President José Mujica: No Palace, No Motorcade, No Frills
If anyone could claim to be leading by example in an age of austerity, it is José Mujica, Uruguay’s president, who has forsworn a state palace in favor of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle.
The Money and Markets Team