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  • Revenue falls short for road projects in Arizona Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 3:16 PM ET

    PHOENIX— A Maricopa County sales tax increase adopted a decade ago has raised more than $3.1 billion for dozens of freeway, street and transit projects, but that's still $1 billion less than initially projected. The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that the revenue gap is expected to widen to about $3.2 billion over the next decade, until the Proposition 400...

  • Hundreds of theaters begin screening 'The Interview' Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 3:02 PM ET

    Hundreds of theaters Thursday, from The Edge 8 in Greenville, Alabama, to Michael Moore's Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, made special holiday arrangements for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But with President Obama among others criticizing the decision, Sony officials changed...

  • New York showings of 'The Interview' sell out Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 2:06 PM ET

    NEW YORK— "The Interview" opened in several New York City theaters on Christmas to enthusiastic crowds as interested in the world drama the film produced as anything on the screen. "The whole story is like a movie," Nick Ratner said of the swirling controversy as he prepared to watch the film at Cinema Village East in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood Thursday...

  • Potential Revel casino buyer wants discount Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 12:58 PM ET

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.— The Florida developer in line to purchase the former Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City says in court filings that the auction for the property wasn't run fairly and he wants an $8 million discount. Lawyers for Glenn Straub said in a court filing Wednesday that the property should be sold for $87 million, not the $95.4 million runner-up bid his...

  • NEW YORK/ LOS ANGELES, Dec 25- "The Interview," the Sony Pictures film about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, opened in more than 300 cinemas across the United States on Christmas Day, drawing sell-out audiences in many theaters where outspoken patrons said they were championing freedom of expression. Seth Rogen, who co-stars in the...

  • Russia offers support to North Korea amid Sony hack Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:39 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Russia on Thursday offered sympathy to North Korea amid the Sony hacking scandal, saying the movie that sparked the dispute was so scandalous that Pyongyang's anger was "quite understandable." Washington failed to offer any proof to back its claims of Pyongyang's involvement in the hacking, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich...

  • At 101, dedicated union rep is calling it quits Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:29 AM ET

    NEW YORK— At 101, Charlie Ponti has finally decided to retire for good— probably. On Dec. 31, he will officially finish up a 77- year stint with the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153, where he started as a business representative and organizer and ended as the president of the local's retirees association. The Rutherford, New Jersey,...

  • Lawmakers promise to help strapped oil-patch towns Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:24 AM ET

    BILLINGS, Mont.— Relief could be on the horizon for strapped public services in the Northern Plains' booming oil patch, as elected leaders in Montana and North Dakota move to steer more money into the region during the states' upcoming legislative sessions. Political leaders on both sides of the Montana- North Dakota border said they are optimistic more can be done...

  • Legislature will renew attempt to repair Lake Erie Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:22 AM ET

    TOLEDO, Ohio— A plan to slow down some of what's feeding the toxic algae in Lake Erie will be back in front of state lawmakers early next year. A key state lawmaker behind the bill, which would ban farmers in northwestern Ohio from spreading manure on frozen and saturated fields, expects those proposals to come back before the Legislature in January.

  • Correction: NKorea-Mystery Outage story Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 8:55 AM ET

    LONDON— In a story Dec. 24 about North Korea's Internet outages, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Falkland Islands are located in the North Atlantic. LONDON— North Korea's microscopic corner of the Internet has had a rough couple of days, suffering seven outages in 48 hours, according to one Web traffic monitor. "A large city block in London or New...

  • Schools seek streamlined distance learning process Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 8:50 AM ET

    CONCORD, N.H.— Southern New Hampshire University has become one of the largest nonprofit providers of online degrees in the country, thanks in part to a staffer dedicated to seeking program approval from other states and to the half a million dollars a year it pays those states. So New Hampshire's recent decision to join an effort to streamline that process came...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 25- "The Interview," the Sony Pictures film about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, opened in midnight screenings in a smattering of U.S. cinemas on Christmas Day, drawing moviegoers who said they supported the studio's decision to stand up to efforts to censor the low-budget comedy. Seth Rogen, who co-stars in the film...

  • TOKYO/ LOS ANGELES, Dec 25- Sony Corp's Tokyo headquarters is changing its usual arm's-length relationship with its U.S. studio following a massive cyberattack and the controversy over the comedy "The Interview," with the group CEO being consulted on key decisions, company officials said. Officials with direct knowledge of the relationship said Sony Pictures...

  • Streaming release of 'Interview' test for industry Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 12:57 AM ET

    ATLANTA— Sony's "The Interview" has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Its Christmas Day release was canceled by Sony after threats of violence by hackers linked to North Korea. Sony released "The Interview" Wednesday on a variety of digital platforms— Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a separate Sony website.

  • TOKYO, Dec 25- Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru brand cars and SUVs, has scrapped a plan to shift production of the new XV Crosstrek to its U.S. plant and will instead make the SUV in Japan, a source familiar with the company's production plans said. Fuji Heavy, which has a policy of making cars in markets where they are sold, decided to make the new vehicle in...

  • TOKYO, Dec 25- Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru brand cars and SUVs, has scrapped a plan to shift production of the new XV Crosstrek to its U.S. plant in Indiana and will instead make the crossover SUV in Japan, a source familiar with the company's production plans said. Fuji Heavy, which has been moving production to Indiana due to the strong yen and a policy of...

  • Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 10:51 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. Happy Apple Co. of Washington, Missouri, said in a statement Wednesday that one of the apple suppliers to its California facility reported that there may be a connection between the listeria outbreak and the...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 24- Google Inc's decision to screen Sony Pictures' film "The Interview" may help legitimize its YouTube platform as a serious rival to paid video streaming services, Netflix and Amazon.com Inc. Sony Pictures made the controversial film available online on Wednesday, expanding distribution of a comedy that triggered a destructive...

  • *Many markets closed around the region, as well as London, U.S. Markets are closed in other key countries around the region, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, and will be closed later in London and New York. There were some guys taking profits in the dollar-yen this week, but most people seem happy to be caught long, "said Kaneo Ogino, director at...

  • The film was available for rental on Google Inc's YouTube site as of early Wednesday afternoon. Microsoft Corp and Sony itself are also showing the comedy, a day before the hastily scheduled premiere at some 320 independent theaters. He added that Sony had first reached out to Google, Microsoft "and other partners" on Dec. 17, the day the studio said it had no future...