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  • MIAMI, Dec 21- For a handful of Cuban-Americans, President Barack Obama's new Cuba policy wasn't much of a shocker. "There is a clear understanding in the White House that politically they are going to have to focus on and cultivate the younger generation of Cuban-Americans who are mobilized and out there supporting the president's decision," said Frank Mora, a...

  • How do you joke about the Sony hacking story? Given that the fallout over an unabashedly silly movie— "The Interview," which Sony shelved last week after a stunning cyberattack by hackers the U.S. has linked to North Korea— has escalated into a serious global situation, one would think comedy writers might be a wee bit skittish just now. Evil from the "Austin Powers"...

  • NEW YORK— While Hollywood continued to wrestle with the fallout of the Sony hacking scandal, the weekend box office offered the solace of a moviegoing truism: Hobbits sell. In its second week of release overseas, Warner Bros.' "Five Armies" added $105.5 million to bring its two-week global total past $350 million. Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution for...

  • US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 | 11:13 AM ET

    American businesses have begun imagining ways to capitalize on last week's announcement that the United States will restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and ease curbs on trade with one of the last surviving Communist regimes. Their more ambitious plans would require that Congress lift the U.S. embargo on most exports to Cuba. All that said, Cuba experts have a...

  • WRAPUP 1-Obama says Sony hack not an act of war Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 | 10:52 AM ET

    President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism. Washington's long-standing dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 21- U.S. president Barack Obama has rejected the charge that he has been outmaneuvered by Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying in a TV interview due for broadcast later on Sunday that Putin was presiding over "a huge economic contraction" due to the Ukraine crisis. Obama, in an interview with Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union" program...

  • US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 | 7:25 AM ET

    HONOLULU— President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as Washington decides how to respond to what he calls an "act of cybervandalism," not one of war, against a movie company. "How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet," a Sony lawyer said.

  • AP source: US seeks China's help after cyberattack Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 6:02 PM ET

    HONOLULU— The United States is asking China for help as it weighs potential responses to a cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that the U.S. has blamed on North Korea. A senior Obama administration official says the U.S. and China have shared information about the attack and that the U.S. has asked for China's cooperation. China holds considerable...

  • *North Korea calls accusations "groundless slander". SEOUL/ WASHINGTON, Dec 20- North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. On Friday, President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the devastating...

  • *North Korea calls accusations "groundless slander". SEOUL/ WASHINGTON, Dec 20- North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. On Friday, President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the devastating...

  • Illinois farm groups foresee market growth in Cuba Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 12:42 PM ET

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois farm groups are looking to Cuba as a growing market for corn, soybeans, pork and other products the state produces, and they see the state's access to rail and river transportation as an advantage to trade with the Caribbean island nation of 11 million consumers. The thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba could mean up to $7...

  • WICHITA, Kan.— President Barack Obama's announcement this week to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease some economic restrictions has been closely followed in Kansas, as the move could open up a major market for winter wheat producers. The Republican senator urged the Treasury Department to immediately rewrite cumbersome regulations that...

  • Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 8:01 AM ET

    Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. While American journalists have extensively covered the fallout from the unprecedented Sony hacking attack, it hasn't exactly been massive news in Japan. This might all be perplexing to the rest of the world since Sony is one of Japan's most iconic global...

  • *North Korea calls accusations "groundless slander". *Obama says Sony should not have caved in to hackers. SEOUL/ WASHINGTON, Dec 20- North Korea said U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it was wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States.

  • North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 6:09 AM ET

    SEOUL, South Korea— North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of "serious" consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack. U.S. officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used...

  • Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 12:43 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama declared that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. Sony said it had had no choice but to cancel distribution of the movie since...

  • AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 12:35 AM ET

    GENEVA— Brazilian author Paulo Coelho says the Sony hack threatens us all if society doesn't enforce important values: our individual and collective freedom of expression and an unwavering refusal to negotiate with anonymous terrorists. The best-selling author said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press that he was prepared to make himself an...

  • But while Obama got laughs in Washington, Oscar winners George Clooney and Sean Penn launched broadsides against Sony and Hollywood studios' response to the hack. Sony has said it could not release the film on its set date of Dec. 25 after cinemas said they would not show it because of fears of unspecified threats from hackers. Clooney, whose past two films for which...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 19- Sony Pictures said on Friday it is looking for alternatives to release "The Interview" after it scrapped the Christmas Day theatrical opening of the screwball comedy at the center of a cyberattack on the studio blamed on North Korea. On Wednesday, Sony canceled the theatrical release of the film depicting the assassination of North Korean...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 19- The United States has sought help from China, Japan, South Korea and Russia in combating cyber attacks such as the one Washington on Friday accused North Korea of carrying out against Sony Pictures, U.S. officials said. The outreach, which included meetings among U.S. and Chinese officials in both nations' capitals, is a tacit acknowledgement...