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.
Russia Expels U.S. Journalist David Satter Without Explanation
Russia has expelled a U.S. journalist living in Moscow for the first time since the Cold War, in a move that is likely to strain relations with Washington on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
U.S. Data Thefts Turn Spotlight on Romania
The FBI and U.S. Secret Service have been involved in numerous arrests of Romanians who target Americans. In response, the Council of Europe — a body that oversees cooperation between European countries — picked the Romanian capital of Bucharest for its latest cybercrime program office.
Pope Says Abortion Evidence of ‘Throwaway Culture’
Saying hunger is a threat to world peace, he noted that not only food but human beings themselves are often discarded as unnecessary. “For example, it is frightful even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” he said.
How Connected Cars, Clothes and Homes Could Fry Your Brain
“The more stuff you have, the less you are able to focus on individual things. There is very limited bandwidth for conscious thought.” That assertion has been backed by several studies, including one from Stanford. Welcome to the “smart life.” Brain cells, beware.
Businesses Using Sensors to Track Customers, Build Shopper Profiles
Places where people didn’t think they were being watched are now repositories for collecting information, says Ryan Calo, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law. “Companies are increasingly able to connect between our online and offline lives,” he says.
S&P 500 Takes Hardest Hit in Two Months; Investors Brace for Earnings
Stocks declined to session lows after a speech Monday afternoon by Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart, in which he said that if all goes as expected, the central bank would continue to taper its monthly bond purchases known as quantitative easing.
Blue Chips Finish at Three-Week Low
The Dow industrials suffered their biggest one-day drop since Sept. 20, as last week’s disappointing jobs report continued to reverberate and investors questioned whether stocks could sustain last year’s rally.
Half of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered From Recession
The roughly 800 counties boasting prerecession employment levels by 2013 are mostly in the Midwest and South. And just 54 had achieved their prerecession level of unemployment last year, the report said.
Despite Fluctuations, 2013 Was a Good Year for Gas Prices
“We attribute that to some degree to the increased gas tax that Marylanders are paying, as well as some refinery issues that have impacted the mid-Atlantic region over the last few weeks,” said Ragina Copper-Averella of the American Automobile Association.
Right’s RedState, Human Events, Regnery Gobbled Up by Salem
Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Erick Erickson and Michelle Malkin have a new publisher in Washington today, the expanding Christian conservative media empire of Salem Communications Corp., recently dubbed “the new power in conservative media.”
China Set to Seize South China Sea Island by Force
Reports out of Chinese state media indicate that Beijing is set to invade an island in the South China Sea “illegally occupied” by U.S. ally the Philippines, stoking concerns that the tension-filled region could explode.
Japan’s Birth Rate Plummets as 1 Million Teens Withdraw From Society
There are estimated 1 million of hikikomori — Japanese teens and young men who have become shut-ins, with virtually no human contact beyond their parents. They play video games all night and sleep all day, eating from a tray their parents leave outside their rooms.
Death Toll From New China Bird Flu Rises: WHO
Six more people in China have been confirmed as infected with the new H7N9 strain of bird flu and one of them has died, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. Bird flu emerged last year in China and has infected around 150 people so far, killing at least 46 of them.
Nuclear Agency Gains More Iran Access, But Not Enough for Bomb Probe
Nevertheless, the IAEA will see its role in Iran expand significantly under the Nov. 24 interim accord between the country and the six major powers, the implementation of which will start next Monday.
Turkey’s Six-City Raid Roots Out Several al-Qaeda Suspects
Police wrapped a six-city investigation and raid with the detainment of several suspected of ties to al Qaeda, including one who worked at a prominent charity with Islamic roots. The charity heads deny ties to al-Qaeda and say the police raid was aimed at discrediting the group’s charitable works.
The Money and Markets Team