A Big Enough Pot? A federal judge in Philadelphia is questioning whether a proposed $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims will be enough money to cover 20,000 retired players. According to the Associated Press, Sol Weiss, a lead lawyer for the ex-players, “remained confident the class action settlement will ultimately be approved.” Mediator Layn R. Phillips, a former federal judge, has called the deal fair for both sides.
Broken Record: Rising legal costs ended JPMorgan Chase’s three-year streak of record annual earnings. The $2.6 billion settlement tied to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme reduced fourth-quarter profit by about $850 million, according to Bloomberg. It capped a year in which JPMorgan spent more than $23 billion on legal settlements.
Drone Watch: Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are increasingly borrowing border-patrol drones for domestic surveillance operations, The Washington Post reports, calling it “a harbinger of what is expected to become the commonplace use of unmanned aircraft by police.”
Pot Bill: A city council panel in the District of Columbia is set to mark up a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing less than an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana to a fine as little as $25, Reuters reports. If the bill is passed, Washington would join 15 U.S. states and a handful of cities, including Detroit, that have decriminalized marijuana use, making possession a civil rather than a criminal offense.
Spying Limits: President Obama on Friday will propose increasing limits on access to bulk telephone data, call for privacy safeguards for foreigners and propose the creation of a public advocate to represent privacy concerns at a secret intelligence court, The New York Times reports. “Is it cosmetic or is there a real thumb on the scale in a different direction?” asked one former government official who worked on intelligence issues. “That’s the question.”
Egg on his Face: Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department searched Justin Bieber’s house, looking for evidence that the pop star egged his neighbor’s mansion, causing $20,000 of damage, CNN reports.