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Week In The News: Fed Tapers, NSA Pushback, Billie Jean King To Sochi

A Fed step back, NSA pushback, Billie Jean King will go to the Olympics. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Hardly time for news this week, with all the Christmas shopping and everybody checking that their credit card wasn’t ripped off in the massive data heist at Target. Forty million cards at risk. But there was news aplenty. A budget. Bernanke’s last move. And pushback on the spying of the N.S.A. China on the moon. Genocide fears in Africa. New steps to stop sexual assault in the US military. Billie Jean King, not the President, will go to Russia’s Sochi Olympics. “Duck Dynasty’s” big daddy is in trouble. This hour On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Diane Brady, senior editor at Bloomberg Businessweek. (@DianeBrady)

Bryan Monroe, Washington editor of opinion and commentary for CNN. (@BryanMonroeCNN)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

GQ: What the Duck? — “There are more things Phil would like to say—’controversial’ things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut. (This March, for instance, he told the Christian-oriented Sports Spectrum magazine that he didn’t approve of A&E editing out ‘in Jesus’ from a family prayer scene, even though A&E says that the phrase has been uttered in at least seventeen episodes.) Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out.”

Bloomberg: Billie Jean King’s Message To Vladimir Putin — “These gestures are first of all important for the countries making them, which like to think they are being consistent about standing up for universal values (even if their own societies only rather recently saw the light on gay rights). They are also important in letting gay men and lesbians inside Russia know they have international support.”

USA Today: Stocks mixed after Fed’s mini-‘taper’ – “The Fed said that starting in January, it will reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. The reductions, or tapering, will be the first step toward winding down a program that has been in place since the 2008 financial crisis.Asian markets were mixed Thursday, although Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index soared 1.7% to 15,859.22.”

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