How much will cyberattack cost Sony?

This photo provided by Columbia Pictures - Sony shows, Randall Park, center, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Columbia Pictures' "The Interview." North Korea has been linked to the unprecedented act of cyberwarfare against Sony Pictures that exposed tens of thousands of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorist attacks that ultimately drove the studio to cancel all release plans for "The Interview." (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Ed Araquel)It may be the most damaging hack ever inflicted on an American business.



Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted. (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings.



Bill O'Reilly declares victory in the 'War on Christmas'

Bill O'Reilly declares victory in the 'War on Christmas'The Fox News host, who has become Christianity's General Patton in the so-called "War on Christmas," is declaring victory.



Accused Boston bomber says satisfied with defense lawyers

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted. (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, in his first court appearance in more than a year, told a judge on Thursday that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, was dressed in a dark sweater and wore his hair shaggy for his appearance at U.S. ...



U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

Alan Gross takes a selfie with his wife, Judy Gross, onboard a government plane headed back to the U.S. in this White House handout photoBy Daniel Trotta and Steve Holland HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce. ...



Obama to set up panel to boost trust between police and communities
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday will set up a task force to draw up recommendations to strengthen trust between law enforcement and local communities, following protests over several instances of police killings of unarmed people this year. "There is a sense of urgency," White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters before Obama was to sign an executive order setting up the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. She said the order directs the 11-member panel to submit recommendations to the president by March 2. Obama had said on Dec. ...

'Savior of the nation'

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at his annual press conference, he also said Putin says Ukraine must remain one political entity, voicing hope that the crisis could be solved through peace talks. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)MOSCOW (AP) — From a Western perspective, Vladimir Putin's days as president of Russia should be numbered: The ruble has lost about half its value, the economy is in crisis and his aggression in Ukraine has turned the country into an international pariah.



Good news for U.S. homebuyers

In this photo made Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a for sale by owner sign sits in front of a home in Richardson, Texas. Mortgage company Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year.



Matt Bai: Why Democrats should take their convention to central Ohio

Columbus, Ohio skylineThe site a party chooses for its convention can say something about the kind of country it wants to build. And when Democrats select where they expect to host Hillary Clinton’s coronation in 2016, they should go to Columbus, Ohio, to show what American cities might yet become. In terms of jobs, urban renewal and a great location at the center of an urbanized state, Columbus has much to recommend it. But it also has other things all too rare in modern American cities: strong leadership and a business community that doesn’t shirk its civic responsibility. It’s a vision of a hopeful future.



Obama reignites political debate over Cuba

In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, prepares his statement before a news conference where he expressed his disappointment in President Barack Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Among potential Republican presidential candidates, Rubio led the attack on Obama's plans Wednesday to ease of economic and travel restrictions on Cuba, to open an embassy in Havana and review the communist nation’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — The surprising move by President Barack Obama to restore U.S. ties with Cuba reignited long-simmering political passions over the fate of the island nation, reinforcing yet another difference between Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and several Republicans eyeing bids for the White House.



U.S. links N. Korea to Sony hacking

A banner for "The Interview"is posted outside Arclight Cinemas, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. A U.S. official says North Korea perpetrated the unprecedented act of cyberwarfare against Sony Pictures that exposed tens of thousands of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorist attacks that ultimately drove the studio to cancel all release plans for "The Interview." (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)Sony cancels its release of "The Interview," citing threats from hackers.



Executions in United States at 20-year low: report

lethal injection roomBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid growing concerns about how executions are carried out in the United States, the number of prison inmates being put to death fell to a 20-year low in 2014, the Death Penalty Information Center said in a report issued on Thursday. The 35 executions this year was the lowest since 1994, said the Washington-based nonprofit, which does not take a position on whether the death penalty should be abolished, in its annual survey of national data. ...



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