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  • Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 8:53 AM ET

    MIAMI— One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action. As a result, Cuba produces just 55,000 barrels of oil per day. Cuba needs 155,000 barrels per day, and it fills the gap with oil from Venezuela, part of a trade...

  • 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.

  • N. 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...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 20- China has cut red-tape for foreign bank branch openings and entry into renminbi business, state media said on Saturday, the latest in a series of measures to liberalise the banking sector. Banks now no longer have to first establish a China representative office before setting up other branches. China has been working to liberalise its...

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. The EPA ruled that the ash can be treated like regular garbage, meaning regulating the stuff will be left up to states and watchful citizens. "We had to go to court to force EPA to issue this first-ever coal ash rule, and unfortunately, we will be back in court to force coal plants to...

  • 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...

  • Dec 19- U.S. health regulators on Friday approved AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, and the company said the drug would cost $83,319 for a typical 12- week plan, a bit below its huge selling competitor Solvadi from Gilead Sciences. AbbVie's newly approved regimen is also less costly than Gilead's newest one-pill regimen that combines Sovaldi with...

  • Top 20 Concert Tours from Pollstar Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 7:51 PM ET

    2. Fleetwood Mac; $2,351,433; $132.10. 3. Katy Perry; $1,870,870; $101.70. 4. Enrique Iglesias/ Pitbull; $1,190,894; $83.03.

  • MEXICO CITY/ NEW YORK, Dec 19- Mexico and the United States finalized a pact on Friday to end a months-long sugar dispute that threatened to escalate into a broader trade battle. The two countries have settled on agreements that will avoid hefty duties on imports of sugar from Mexico, the U.S. Department of Commerce said in a statement. In a deal hammered out after...

  • US regulators close small Minnesota bank Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 7:38 PM ET

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday that it has taken over Northern Star Bank, based in Mankato, Minnesota. BankVista, based in Sartell, Minnesota, agreed to assume all of Northern Star Bank's deposits and to purchase essentially all of the failed bank's assets. Northern Star Bank's failure is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund $5.9...

  • 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...

  • Jailed ex-billionaire's lawyers seek his release Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 7:29 PM ET

    That would give his client time to obtain documents related to the 2011 sale of a Mexico resort in defiance of an earlier court order, Ferrigno wrote in his request. A second attorney, Philip Stillman, said he received a collect telephone call from Blixseth on Friday from the Missoula County jail. Blixseth, 64, founded Montana's Yellowstone Club and was blamed for...

  • 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...

  • BRASILIA/ SAO PAULO, Dec 19- Brazil pledged on Friday to suspend financial support for state development bank BNDES next year, marking a major policy shift that will help trim billions of reais in subsidies that have weighed down public finances. The decision was announced by Paulo Rogerio Caffarelli, the finance minister's No. 2 official, at the end of a...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 19- Lockheed Martin Corp's fledgling energy business will reach about $700 million in revenue in 2014 and should provide steady growth for the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier in coming years, a company official said in an interview. He said energy orders were far from overtaking core work on fighter jets, Navy ships or missile defense equipment, but...

  • Judge: Family Dollar can vote on Dollar Tree buyout Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 6:49 PM ET

    DOVER, Del.— A Delaware judge says stockholders of Family Dollar Stores Inc. can vote on proposed $8.5 billion acquisition by Chesapeake, Virginia- based Dollar Tree Inc.. But some Family Dollar shareholders want the vote postponed until the board reviews a deal with Dollar General Corp., which has also bid for Matthews, North Carolina- based Family Dollar.

  • Grand Canyon awards temporary services contract Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 6:48 PM ET

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— The National Park Service has averted a shutdown of some of the Grand Canyon's iconic hotels and mule rides by awarding a temporary contract for services at the canyon's South Rim. The one-year contract goes to Xanterra Parks& Resorts Inc., which has been providing those services for decades. Xanterra President and CEO Andrew Todd said the...