BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND IN CUBA As Obama moves to lift the Cuba trade embargo, here’s what the news means for business, in particular for the cigar and rum markets. [WaPo]
WHITE HOUSE WEIGHS RESPONSE TO SONY ATTACK “The United States said on Thursday a cyber attack on Sony Pictures was a serious national security matter and the Obama administration was considering a proportional response, although the White House stopped short of blaming North Korea. U.S. government sources said on Wednesday that investigators had determined the attack was ‘state sponsored’ and that North Korea was the government involved. A U.S. government official said on Thursday that U.S. investigators were looking into the possibility that Iran assisted North Korea.” Sony has canceled all studio tours in response. [Reuters]
FEDS DELAY IMPLEMENTATION OF VOLCKER RULE REGULATION Banks will have til the end of next year to comply with a ban on proprietary trading. [HuffPost]
GERMAN RESEARCHERS FIND HACKERS CAN HEAR YOUR CELL CALLS “German researchers have discovered security flaws that could let hackers, spies and criminals listen to private phone calls and intercept text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available. The flaws, to be reported at a hacker conference in Hamburg this month, are the latest evidence of widespread insecurity on SS7, the global network that allows the world’s cellular carriers to route calls, texts and other services to each other.” [WaPo]
REPORT: RAISE THE WHITE HOUSE FENCE In a review of White House security breaches this fall, an independent panel found the best solution is to make the White House fence four to five feet higher. [HuffPost]
OBAMA ROLLS OUT COLLEGE RATINGS PLAN “Under the draft framework, schools may be judged on graduation and retention rates; the ability of their graduates to pay back their student loans; and the schools’ accessibility to low-income and first-generation students.” [WSJ]
PAKISTAN STRIKES TALIBAN IN RETALIATION FOR SCHOOL MASSACRE Pakistan’s military has killed 67 militants since the school slaughter. [AP]
DR. OZ UNDER FIRE The British Medical Journal says over half of the popular talk-show host Dr. Mehmet Oz’s recommendations are wrong. [WaPo]
TOM BRADY, CONCUSSION GIVER? “NFL defenses know one thing: You should fear Tom Brady. Increasingly, his teammates agree. ‘All of a sudden he’s a foot away from you, head-butting you three times,’ said teammate Brandon LaFell. ‘I’m like, hey, man, calm down.’ Catching touchdowns from Brady, the New England Patriots’ superstar quarterback, is the easy part this season. The hard part is dealing with his celebrations.” [WSJ]
THE END OF ‘THE COLBERT REPORT’ ERA The show went out in blazing glory with a crazy singalong sendoff and death battle with the Grim Reaper. [HuffPost]
SO ‘SERIAL’ IS OVER Here’s all the unanswered questions you still have as well as two ways to get over the end of the addictive podcast. [HuffPost]
MOBILE BANKING AND ITS LACK OF PROFITABILITY More and more millennials use their phone to track their banking activity, but banks are unable to include many complex, fee-based transactions in their apps. What’s a bank looking to make a buck to do? [WSJ]
YOUR FAVORITE SHOWS ARE ON WINTER HIATUS... Here’s when they’ll all come back. [Pop Sugar]
SARAH SILVERMAN IS HEADED TO HBO In an untitled pilot project starring herself as a woman who can’t keep herself from telling the truth. [Variety]
THE STAGES OF RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT “As you may have heard, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) announced that he was going to ‘actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.’ This may cause you to wonder, ‘What does actively exploring a presidential run mean?’ Is it like actively exploring your body? Or taking a semester off to, I don’t know, get a Eurorail pass and visit other presidential runs? And isn’t ‘active exploration’ redundant? I mean, you can’t ‘passively explore’ something, can you? Like, you’re just living your life until one day you realize that you’ve somehow thoroughly vetted the possibility that you should run for president?” [HuffPost]
ON THE BLOG
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: NINE YEARS OF ‘THE COLBERT REPORT’ “Today, as ‘The Colbert Report’ airs its final episode, I'm looking back with gratitude on nine years of great television. The Huffington Post and the Report have always had a special bond; after all, it was Stephen who launched our sister site, The Colbuffington Re-Post. And I loved being on the show several times, discussing everything from my Greek accent to self-sabotage to the obnoxious roommate living in my head.” [HuffPost]
BEFORE YOU GO
~ Meet the troll hunters.
~ How to cool it on the Christmas punch.
~ Michael Phelps’ DUI trial begins today.
~ When President Obama prank calls you during a radio segment.
~ Lauren Conrad’s holiday gift guide makes you wish you were on her list.
~ Here are the craziest fast food inventions of 2014 -- be very, very afraid for humanity.
~ Christmas gifts for Dad.
~ The Jenner divorce is final.
~ Make your name into a snowflake!
~ You lost a bunch of Instagram followers yesterday.
~ And Martha Stewart’s gingerbread house puts yours to shame.
Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter @LaurenWeberHP. And like what you're reading? Sign up here to get The Morning Email delivered to you.