From the Wires

Budget deal reached in Congress

BBC: A cross-party Congressional budget committee convened after an October government shutdown has reached an agreement on the federal budget.

Mars freshwater lake might have supported life

Washington Post: NASA's Curiosity rover found evidence of an ancient lake on Mars.

Uruguay to become first country to legalize marijuana

Reuters: Uruguay's Senate is expected to pass a law on Tuesday making the small South American nation the world's first to allow its citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana.

GM names first woman CEO

BBC: US car giant General Motors (GM) has promoted product development chief Mary Barra to the post of chief executive.

Government spies snooped in video games

CNN: U.S. and U.K. spies spent time undercover looking for terrorists in online video games like "World of Warcraft."

Tech firms seek surveillance reform

BBC: Leading global technology firms have called for "wide-scale changes" to US government surveillance.

Ice storm wreaks havoc nationwide

CNN: A rare icy weather pattern is walloping virtually the entire United States at once.

Federal Reserve could ease stimulus sooner rather than later

New York Times: News that the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low increases the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will ease stimulus efforts soon.

Measles cases rise in U.S.

USA Today: The U.S. is experiencing a spike in measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

World mourns Nelson Mandela

BBC: South Africans have gathered in Johannesburg and Soweto to mourn their former leader, Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95.

Supreme Court to decide patent fracas between Google and Microsoft

Bloomberg Businessweek: A bitter software patent case that has split the high-tech industry will be heard by the Supreme Court and its ruling could have major implications for the U.S. economy.

20,000 apply for 400 jobs at Ikea in Spain

NPR: In just 48 hours, more than 20,000 people applied for 400 jobs at an Ikea opening on Spain's Mediterranean coast.

Twitter names first female board member

Reuters: Twitter Inc named Marjorie Scardino, former chief executive of publishing company Pearson, to its board on Thursday.