CNN Money: Top business headlines for Dec. 30

    7:37 AM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Monday, December 30.

    Thousands of Arkansans' benefits at stake in debate over jobless aid  
    Aid for thousands of jobless Arkansans will be on the line when Congress considers in January whether to extend federal long-term unemployment benefits. Earlier this month, Congress agreed on a two-year budget deal that avoided a government shutdown but did not include an extension of long-term unemployment benefits. As a result, the jobless benefits of 1.3 million Americans expired Saturday, and another 3.6 million people will see their benefits expire over the next six months unless lawmakers approve an extension after they return in January. In Arkansas, the jobless benefits of nearly 9,000 people expired Saturday, according to the state Department of Workforce Services. Between 650 and 700 Arkansans exhaust regular state benefits and move to extended benefits each week, so over the next six months more than 18,000 additional people in the state could lose benefits without congressional action.

    Minimum wage to rise in 13 states on Jan. 1
    Starting January 1, minimum wage workers in 13 states and four cities will see higher paychecks. While most of the increases amount to less than 15 cents per hour, workers in places like New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island will see a bigger bump. Earlier this year, New Jersey residents voted to raise the state's minimum wage by $1 to $8.25 per hour. And lawmakers voted to hike the wage by between 25 cents and 75 cents per hour, to $8.70 in Connecticut and $8 in Rhode Island and New York. Residents in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will see a higher wage floor due to annual cost of living adjustments.

    7 unbeatable tax tips for year's end
    As 2013 wraps up, many of us have our minds on friends and family with the holiday season in full swing. However, a season that may deserve a little of your attention between Thanksgiving turkey and New Year's Eve champagne is tax season, which is lurking around the corner in April. It's never too early to prepare, and the year-end marker can be an important time to get your tax-related affairs in order. The blog Tax Break from TurboTax has come out with a series of posts for improving next year's April woes. Check out these seven pointers for 2013 to make next year's tax returns a little bit easier to handle.

    Research shows eye-reflections in photos could be used to identify criminals
    Did you ever watch CSI's tech boffins zoom into a photo, grab the reflection in someone's eye, and through processing magic generate a full facial image of the wanted criminal? If, like us, you rolled your eyes at the program's "Hollywood" technology, then maybe you did so too soon (again). Researchers at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, have effectively done just that. Okay, so the team was using near perfect conditions: a 39-megapixel Hasselblad H2D camera, shooting a subject from one meter away, in perfect lighting, but the results proved the idea is well within the realms of science fact. When looking at a close up of a subject's eye, the team was able to grab an image between 27 to 36 pixels wide by 42 to 56 pixels high showing the face of one of the "bystanders" they had organised to be in the subject's view.



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