Money Matters - Simplified

Afghanistan

Wounded vets bag gators

Wellington, Fla. -- A group of 10 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans bagged four alligators during a hunt in Florida, including one 10-foot, 2-inch reptile.

The veterans, members of the Wounded Warrior Project, were invited to the state-owned land near Wellington by the Florida Sportmen's Conservation Association in West Palm Beach and killed the maximum allowed four alligators during their Saturday hunting trip, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Friday.

"It was fun," said Patrick Wickens, who lost his right leg in Iraq. "I'm going to come back next year and get my own tags."

Afghanistan takes control of Kabul Bank

Kabul, Afghanistan -- Officials in Afghanistan said regulators seized control of the county's largest private bank, where a collapse would be an economic and political nightmare.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Afghanistan Central Bank took control of Kabul Bank, which is partly owned by Mahmoud Karzai and Haseen Fahim, who are brothers, respectively, of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim.

In addition, the bank manages the payroll for Afghan soldiers and police, which would mean a collapse could create disarray in the country's security infrastructure.

U.S. demonstrates translation devices

Washington -- U.S. researchers say they're working on smartphone-based translation programs that could aid American soldiers dealing with civilians in Afghanistan.

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have demonstrated speech translation devices that could translate between English and Pashto, an official language of Afghanistan, an institute release said Saturday.

Traditionally, the military has used human translators for communicating with non-English speakers in foreign countries, but the job is dangerous and skilled translators often are in short supply, the institute said.

Rags to Riches for Afghanistan and Automakers?

Last weekend, The New York Times reported an astonishing mineral discovery in Afghanistan that is believed to be valued at more than $1 trillion. While many in the investment community were quick to trumpet the impact this could have on miners and mineral producers, an underlooked investment opportunity has arisen in the automotive manufacturers.

The Obamas meet Oprah for a Christmas special

New York, December 14 -- President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama sat with Oprah Winfrey for a special program, “Christmas at the White House”, which aired Sunday on ABC.