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, business and finance, and world news.
Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit
The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.
NSA Intercepts Computer Deliveries
A German magazine lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency’s hacking unit Sunday, reporting that American spies intercept computer deliveries, exploit hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijack Microsoft’s internal reporting system to spy on their targets.
Florida Neigborhood Bans Kids From Playing in Street
After Advanced Management, the community’s management company, prohibited children, for their own safety, from playing on the one road passing through the 172-unit subdivision, the family-oriented neighborhood is surprisingly quiet in the days after Christmas.
Bullhead City’s Former Mayor, Husband Attacked by Dogs
Former Mayor Diane Vick and her husband, Tom, tried to intervene after one of their larger dogs attacked one of their smaller dogs, but the dogs turned on them and attacked them. Tom Vick, who taught social studies at Mohave High School, died of his injuries Sunday morning.
Websites Now Selling Credit, Debit Card Information Stolen In Target Breach
“They sell them to not the highest bidder, but any bidder. It’s almost like a kind of ransom.” But numbers aren’t the only things the hackers have exposed. They also showed how vulnerable the current generation of credit cards is to fraud.
Twitter Reverses Rally as Shares Dive
Negative sentiment snowballed throughout the day as the stock’s drop accelerated. Trading volume in Twitter shares, a sign of interest in the stock, surged again, with more than 60 million shares changing hands on Friday.
France’s Hollande Gets Court Approval for 75% Millionaire Tax
Under Hollande’s proposal, companies will have to pay a 50 percent duty on wages above 1 million euros ($1.4 million). In combination with other taxes and social charges, the rate will amount to 75 percent of salaries above the threshold, the court wrote in a decision published today.
Out With the Old: Americans Have Little Good to Say About 2013
Put simply, most Americans are happy to see 2013 go. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, more than two-thirds view the year as one that was bad for the world; more than four in 10 say it was a bad year for their family.
Inexpensive Stocks Take Lead in Rally
Some money managers say the bigger-than-average gains in these shares are a sign of the market’s health. In recent years, investors scrambled for stocks that paid big dividends, often paying little heed to valuations, as they searched for yield at a time of record-low interest rates.
Beware the Tech Bubble — But Stay Calm
“Doesn’t this feel like a bubble? And, if it is, shouldn’t we do something about it? We should. I’m not convinced that we’re in a bubble now, that the tech sector is too hot or that we’re somehow spinning out of control, however.”
Bombings Jolt Russia, Raising Olympic Fears
A deadly suicide bombing at a crowded railroad station in southern Russia on Sunday, followed by a blast in a trolley bus on Monday in the same city, raised the specter of a new wave of terrorism just six weeks before the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Row in Germany Over Feared Influx From Eastern Europe
Germany is Europe’s top economic power and suffers from a lack of skilled labor, particularly in its wealthy southern regions such as Bavaria. But its relatively generous social welfare system stokes widespread fears of “benefit tourism” from poorer corners of Europe and farther afield.
Pope Highlights Drama of Migrants, Refugees
Refugees and migrants do not always “find a true welcome, respect, and appreciation for the value that they bring.” Pope also expressed regret at the way the world treats its elderly people, saying older generations were sometimes like “hidden exiles” treated “like burdens.”
China Activists Push Limit With Demands to End ‘Dictatorship’
“More people in the south are willing to take that one further step and actually put up a banner that directly targets ‘one-party dictatorship’ that directly calls for constitutional government, freedom, human rights, democracy.”
Islamist Students Torch Buildings at University in Cairo
Protesting Egyptian students loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood set fire to two buildings at Al-Azhar University’s Cairo campus following clashes with police on Saturday, state television reported.
The Money and Markets Team