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  • Cubans hope for better future with US-Havana deal Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:02 AM ET

    HAVANA— Cubans cheered the surprise announcement that their country will restore relations with the United States, hopeful they'll soon see expanded trade and new economic vibrancy even though the 53- year-old economic embargo remains in place for the time being. Bells tolled in celebration and teachers halted lessons midday as President Raul Castro told...

  • In surprise, Wyo. senator to head budget committee Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:53 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Alabama lawmaker who has been the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee for the past four years ended his effort Wednesday to become the panel's chairman, clearing the way for a colleague from Wyoming to lead the committee when the GOP controls Congress next year. Though men both arrived in the Senate 18 years ago, Enzi has seniority on the...

  • New chapter for US-Cuba relations  Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:24 AM ET

    Mark Potter, NBC News, reports on how Cubans feel about diplomatic normalization between the U.S. and Cuba.

  • CHICAGO, Dec 17- Exports of U.S. agricultural products such as wheat, rice, soybeans and meat products stand to gain from a surprise U.S. move toward repairing relations with Cuba, agriculture industry officials said on Wednesday. President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that the United States would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba more than 50...

  • Hillary Clinton backs Obama move on Cuba Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:19 PM ET

    Secretary of State and potential presidential contender Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday she supported President Barack Obama's move to establish diplomatic ties with Cuba after more than 50 years of hostile relations. She added: "I support President Obama' s decision to change course on Cuba policy, while keeping the focus on our principal objective-...

  • UPDATE 2-Obama has power to further weaken Cuba sanctions Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:15 PM ET

    With Republicans due to take control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in January, the chance of lawmakers scrapping all sanctions on Cuba soon is almost zero. The sanctions on Cuba are tighter than those against other U.S. adversaries such as Iran and Russia although America sends food and medicine to Cuba. A president can loosen trade bans...

  • Obama says people should 'go to the movies' Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 7:26 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. Sony said Wednesday it was canceling the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview" after many theaters said they would hold off on screening the film. Obama told ABC News in an interview Wednesday that the administration will be "vigilant" and will alert...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- The S&P 500 scored its best day since October 2013 on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy and said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates. The Fed said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to bump borrowing costs higher, which Fed Chair Janet Yellen, at a news conference,...

  • BRASILIA, Dec 17- Latin American leaders who for years have pressured the United States to drop its economic embargo against Cuba praised President Barack Obama for moving on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations with its communist-run Cold War foe. U.S. policy toward Cuba has soured its reputation across much of Latin America, especially in recent years...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company rank among the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank,...

  • Russian crisis could be like 1998—but worse Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 5:42 PM ET
    People gather near a currency exchange office in Moscow, December 17, 2014.

    If Russia doesn't do this one thing (and soon), it will be like 1998 — but worse, says Wolfgang Koester.

  • Dec 17- After twenty years, Thomas Herzfeld's long bet on Cuba is paying off. The Miami Beach- based portfolio manager behind the $25.3 million Herzfeld Caribbean Basin fund, the only Cuba- focused fund in the United States, watched its shares soar more than 40 percent at one point on Wednesday after President Barack Obama's surprise move to thaw relations with the...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, asked the International Trade Commission on Wednesday to begin a study of the economic impact on the United States of current restrictions on exports to Cuba. He said the study, ordered in light of President Barack Obama's easing of trade restrictions on Cuba, would...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- The S&P 500 scored its best day since October 2013 on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward lifting interest rates. "This is the market saying,' Ah, I get it,' the Fed does not want to be in the business of disruption, this is a steady monetary policy and the Fed will continue...

  • The United States' commercial ties with Cuba were broken 54 years ago after Fidel Castro took over. Now U.S.- Cuba trade is poised to resume: President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to re-establish diplomat relations with Havana, and economic ties are expected to follow. Gary Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar of the Peterson Institute for...

  • Obama acts on Cuba, overturns 50-year policy  Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 4:20 PM ET

    President Obama announced the release of a U.S. contractor; a swap of spies and the decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. Details, reports CNBC's John Harwood.

  • HAVANA/ WASHINGTON, Dec 17- President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Obama said the moves were made possible by Havana's release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned...

  • Dec 17- The United States move to normalize relations with Cuba could pave the way for Sherritt International Corp to export nickel and cobalt to one of the biggest markets in the world, the miner's Chief Executive David Pathe told Reuters. Sherritt shares jumped as much as 36 percent on Wednesday after President Barack Obama moved to thaw a five-decade freeze...

  • I will not invest in Cuba: Cuban-American exec Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 3:35 PM ET
    A bike-taxi and a vintage American car are seen in front of a building decorated with a large Cuban flag, on December 31, 2013, in Havana.

    The U.S. is re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, but Armando Codina said he isn't ready to invest in the communist country.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- The renewal of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba could be the start of a long thaw in decades of animosity but the path is full of obstacles, not least the U.S. sanctions on the Communist-run island. Only Congress can overturn the law, and with Republicans due to take control of both the House of Representatives and the...