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  • Last U.S. holiday shopping weekend off to solid start Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 3:57 PM ET

    CHICAGO/ NEW YORK, Dec 20- Shoppers filled up malls and department stores on the last weekend before Christmas, as the weather cooperated to help raise the prospect of a solid finish to a holiday season that has so far produced mixed results. Crowds were building at stores in and around New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles by midday on Saturday.

  • *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...

  • HONOLULU, Dec 20- The United States stands by its assertion that the North Korean government was behind the massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council said on Saturday. Asked about North Korea's statement on Saturday denying involvement in the strike against the Hollywood studio, NSC spokesman Mark Stroh...

  • Haggen chain buying 146 Safeway, Albertsons stores Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 2:16 PM ET

    BELLINGHAM, Wash.— The Washington state- based grocery chain Haggen Inc. plans to buy 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. The Bellingham Herald reports the sales are required under the federal review of Safeway's sale to an investment group that owns Albertsons. Associated Food Stores is buying eight stores...

  • DISH, Comcast SportsNet reach deal in regional dispute Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 1:47 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 20- Satellite TV provider DISH Network Corp and Comcast Corp's SportsNet have reached a deal allowing the cable giant's regional sports networks to remain on-air for DISH subscribers, DISH said on Saturday. The two pay-TV companies have been in negotiations over whether DISH would drop Comcast's regional sports network, threatening access...

  • *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...

  • Judge dismisses suit by family saved at sea Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 12:23 PM ET

    San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes ruled that a provision in the contract between Eric Kaufman and Whenever Communications requires any lawsuit to be filed in Florida, where the company's headquarters are located, U-T San Diego reported Saturday. After the ruling, family attorney Dan Gilleon said the Kaufmans will file their lawsuit in Florida.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Protesters in contempt of court for anti-whaling campaign Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 12:15 AM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers were found in contempt of court Friday for continuing their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the waters of Antarctica. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a commissioner to determine how much Paul Watson and members of the Sea...

  • Iron Mountain reaches $44.5M settlement with US Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 10:15 PM ET

    Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said the settlement involves services the Boston- based company provided to government entities from 2001 to 2014 through contracts with the General Services Administration, or GSA. Prosecutors say the settlement resolves allegations that Iron Mountain Inc. failed to provide GSA with accurate information about its...

  • 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...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 19- A U.S. judge on Friday rejected Hewlett-Packard Co's proposed settlement of shareholder litigation involving the information technology company's botched acquisition of Autonomy Plc. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco wrote that the settlement may not have been fair for shareholders because it broadly released HP from...

  • SAN FRANCISCO— Radical environmentalists were found in contempt of court Friday for failing to heed an order to halt their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the waters of Antarctica. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a commissioner to determine how much Paul Watson and members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society he...

  • More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 4:38 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES— More than 4,400 people filed adoption papers for homeless dogs during what was billed as the first all-star dog adoption telethon, producers say. "If only half of those result in adoptions, that would be huge," director Michael Levitt said. More than 4 million people tuned in to the show, which was co-hosted by actresses Hilary Swank and Jane Lynch, and...

  • LOS ANGELES— The Sony hack, the latest in a wave of company security breaches, exposed months of employee emails. Other hacks have given attackers access to sensitive information about a company and its customers, such as credit-card numbers and email addresses. One way hackers can sneak into a company is by sending fake emails with malicious links to employee...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 19- Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive and chairman Michael Lynton said on Friday that the Hollywood studio did not make a mistake in pulling satirical film "The Interview" after a cyberattack blamed on North Korea. Earlier on Friday, Obama said Sony should have released the film and not bowed to pressure from hackers.

  • Sony on shelving 'The Interview': 'We had no choice' Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 4:21 PM ET

    Obama said during a press conference Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in dropping "The Interview." This was their decision, " Sony said in a statement. Sony insists it has only cancelled the Christmas Day release and that it has been "actively surveying alternatives" to release the film on a different platform.