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Obama vows U.S. response to North Korea

Obama vows response to North Korea over Sony cyber attackPresident Barack Obama vowed that the United States will respond to the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on the North Korean government. Obama said the cyber attack "caused a lot of damage" to Sony but that he believed the company made a mistake in canceling the release of "The Interview," a comedy portraying the assassination of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. "We will respond," Obama told an end-of-year news conference. ...




Ferguson prosecutor: Some witnesses lied, including woman who didn’t see shooting

Missouri Prosecutor Releases More Evidence From Ferguson ShootingA woman who swore she saw teenager Michael Brown pummel Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson and charge him “like a football player,” was lying about being at the scene of the controversial police shooting, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Friday.




New Ray Rice video shows couple kissing after elevator punch




Obama says U.S. blacks better off overall than when he began presidency

U.S. President Barack Obama reponds to a question during his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. blacks are better off now than they were when he began his presidency in 2009, but that the gap between blacks and whites remains. "Like the rest of America, Black America, in the aggregate, is better off now than it was when I came into office," he told reporters in an end-of-year news conference. "The gap between income and wealth of white and black America persists, and we've got more work to do on that front. ...




Friend of accused Boston bomber pleads guilty to gun, drug charges

Hayden, defense attorney for Matanov who is accused of lying to federal investigators about his ties to accused Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, talks to reporters following Matanov's arraignment in federal courtBy Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A high school friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombers pleaded guilty on Friday to charges including having possessed a gun that prosecutors contend the suspects used to shoot dead a university police officer as they tried to flee the city. Stephen Silva, 21, changed his plea from not guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston after reaching a deal with federal prosecutors that was filed under seal. ...




Protesters from both sides of policing controversy face off in NYC
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scores of protesters denouncing police violence against non-whites rallied alongside dozens of supporters of New York City police officers on Friday in a tense standoff outside City Hall that comes amid weeks of mostly peaceful protests. It was one of the first counter-rallies by police supporters since the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man killed when officers were attempting to arrest him in July. The killing set off a wave of protests against the treatment of minority groups by police. ...

Barbara Scrivner’s long journey to clemency

Barbara ScrivnerTwenty years into her three-decade sentence for selling small amounts of meth, President Barack Obama had decided to let Scrivner out of prison, her lawyer told her in a brief and emotional phone call. She started to cry.




Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

8 children killed, mother stabbed, in AustraliaSYDNEY (AP) — An Australian woman was arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday. The children were found dead inside the woman's home.




Lawmaker wants investigation of St. Louis prosecutor

Prosecutor: Some Ferguson witnesses clearly liedST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis County prosecutor who convened the grand jury that investigated the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown says some witnesses before the panel obviously lied under oath.




'A human being gripped by a severe mental illness'

James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in CentennialJames Holmes's parents are pleading for him to be spared the death penalty.





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Obama vows U.S. response to North Korea

Obama vows response to North Korea over Sony cyber attackPresident Barack Obama vowed that the United States will respond to the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on the North Korean government. Obama said the cyber attack "caused a lot of damage" to Sony but that he believed the company made a mistake in canceling the release of "The Interview," a comedy portraying the assassination of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. "We will respond," Obama told an end-of-year news conference. ...




Ferguson prosecutor: Some witnesses lied, including woman who didn’t see shooting

Missouri Prosecutor Releases More Evidence From Ferguson ShootingA woman who swore she saw teenager Michael Brown pummel Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson and charge him “like a football player,” was lying about being at the scene of the controversial police shooting, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Friday.




New Ray Rice video shows couple kissing after elevator punch




Obama says U.S. blacks better off overall than when he began presidency

U.S. President Barack Obama reponds to a question during his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. blacks are better off now than they were when he began his presidency in 2009, but that the gap between blacks and whites remains. "Like the rest of America, Black America, in the aggregate, is better off now than it was when I came into office," he told reporters in an end-of-year news conference. "The gap between income and wealth of white and black America persists, and we've got more work to do on that front. ...




Friend of accused Boston bomber pleads guilty to gun, drug charges

Hayden, defense attorney for Matanov who is accused of lying to federal investigators about his ties to accused Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, talks to reporters following Matanov's arraignment in federal courtBy Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A high school friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombers pleaded guilty on Friday to charges including having possessed a gun that prosecutors contend the suspects used to shoot dead a university police officer as they tried to flee the city. Stephen Silva, 21, changed his plea from not guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston after reaching a deal with federal prosecutors that was filed under seal. ...




Protesters from both sides of policing controversy face off in NYC
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scores of protesters denouncing police violence against non-whites rallied alongside dozens of supporters of New York City police officers on Friday in a tense standoff outside City Hall that comes amid weeks of mostly peaceful protests. It was one of the first counter-rallies by police supporters since the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man killed when officers were attempting to arrest him in July. The killing set off a wave of protests against the treatment of minority groups by police. ...

Barbara Scrivner’s long journey to clemency

Barbara ScrivnerTwenty years into her three-decade sentence for selling small amounts of meth, President Barack Obama had decided to let Scrivner out of prison, her lawyer told her in a brief and emotional phone call. She started to cry.




Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

8 children killed, mother stabbed, in AustraliaSYDNEY (AP) — An Australian woman was arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday. The children were found dead inside the woman's home.




Lawmaker wants investigation of St. Louis prosecutor

Prosecutor: Some Ferguson witnesses clearly liedST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis County prosecutor who convened the grand jury that investigated the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown says some witnesses before the panel obviously lied under oath.




'A human being gripped by a severe mental illness'

James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in CentennialJames Holmes's parents are pleading for him to be spared the death penalty.





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Beyond Russia: Geopolitical hot spots in 2015
Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy.

Texas is in danger of a recession
The shale boom has been a blessing to Texas, but tumbling oil prices are casting a shadow over the state.

Top 1%: What they made, what they paid
Read full story for latest details.

YouTube CEO: Paid maternity leave is good for business
Susan Wojcicki said the rate of new moms leaving Google fell by 50% after the company began offering 18 weeks of paid maternity leave.

10 things you need to know about Russia
Read full story for latest details.

$57.6 million for Countrywide whistleblower
O'Donnell sued Countrywide, and how he's getting chunk of $16.6 billion settlement.

Payday lenders throw millions at powerful politicians to get their way
Payday lenders are spending millions of dollars in Washington in an attempt to get powerful politicians on their side as a government crackdown on the industry heats up.

In Russia, no more $30 Ikea 'Billy' bookcases - at least for now
Read full story for latest details.

Americans send $2 billion a year to Cuba
That number will likely grow as the Obama Administration eases restrictions with the Communist country.

Putin blames the West for Russia's misery
Read full story for latest details.


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Science News Headlines - Yahoo News

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Disgraced Japan researcher fails to replicate 'game changing' stem cell results

Haruko Obokata, a researcher at semi-governmental research institute RIKEN, lowers her eyes during a news conference in OsakaBy Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - A disgraced Japanese researcher has failed to replicate results hailed as a potential breakthrough in stem-cell treatment and efforts to do so will be abandoned, officials at her research institute said on Friday. The scandal involving the research, which detailed simple ways to reprogram mature cells back to an embryonic-like state, eventually led to the retraction of papers published in the influential journal Nature and tarnished the reputation of Japanese scientific research. ...




Europe recommends approval for first stem-cell therapy
LONDON (Reuters) - European regulators have recommended approval of the first medicine containing stem cells to treat a rare condition caused by burns to the eye. The European Medicines Agency said on Friday that Holoclar, from privately held Italian company Chiesi, had been given a green light for moderate to severe limbal stem cell deficiency due to physical or chemical burns. Left untreated, the condition can result in blindness. Holoclar is a living tissue product made from a biopsy taken from a small undamaged area of the patient’s cornea and grown in the laboratory using cell culture. ...

Songbirds fly coop long before tornadoes arrive in Tennessee

Henry Streby holds a male golden-winged warbler and the geolocator that the bird carried in the Cumberland Mountains of TennesseeBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - You might want to be careful about who you call a birdbrain. Some of our feathered friends exhibit powers of perception that put humans to shame. Scientists said on Thursday that little songbirds known as golden-winged warblers fled their nesting grounds in Tennessee up to two days before the arrival of a fierce storm system that unleashed 84 tornadoes in southern U.S. states in April. The researchers said the birds were apparently alerted to the danger by sounds at frequencies below the range of human hearing. ...




SpaceX delays planned cargo run to space station to early January

Falcon 9 rocket is launched by Space Exploration Technologies on its fourth cargo resupply service mission to the International Space Station, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in FloridaCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies is delaying the planned launch on Friday of an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, which will carry a cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA, to early January, officials said on Thursday. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida had been planned for 1:22 p.m. EST, but an undisclosed technical issue with the rocket prompted SpaceX, as the company is known, to postpone the flight until Jan 6. The problem surfaced during routine prelaunch test firing of the rocket’s engines, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said. ...




India tests its heaviest space launch vehicle, eyes global market
By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's space agency successfully tested on Thursday its most powerful satellite launch vehicle that can put heavier payloads into space, and, it hopes, win India a bigger slice of the $300 billion global space industry. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also checked the working of an unmanned crew module on the vehicle, which could give the agency the option of manned missions. ...

NASA Satellite's 1st CO2 Maps of Earth Revealed

NASA Satellite's 1st CO2 Maps of Earth RevealedThis past summer, NASA launched its first satellite devoted to measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is driving global warming. Today (Dec. 18), scientists with the space agency unveiled the first carbon maps obtained by the spacecraft, named the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2. OCO-2 only started collecting its first scientifically useful information at the end of September, but the initial results "are quite amazing," said Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 deputy project scientist, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. In a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Eldering and her colleagues showed a map of the globe that uses about 600,000 data points taken by OCO-2 from Oct. 1 through Nov. 17.




What was the Worst #ScienceFail of 2014? (Op-Ed)

What was the Worst #ScienceFail of 2014? (Op-Ed)Aaron Huertas is a science communications officer at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where he helps scientists represent their work to the public and policymakers. Scientific research is often difficult, tedious and can take years to come to fruition. Unfortunately, too many politicians and institutions reject or distort scientific conclusions they don't like. We all lose when political spin runs roughshod over evidence scientists have uncovered regarding risks to our health and well-being.




Keeping Up with the Greens: Neighbors Can Spur Conservation (Op-Ed)

Keeping Up with the Greens: Neighbors Can Spur Conservation (Op-Ed)Marlene Cimons writes for Climate Nexus, a nonprofit that aims to tell the climate story in innovative ways that raise awareness of, dispel misinformation about and showcase solutions to climate change and energy issues in the United States. She contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Mindful of the growing dangers of climate change, I always strive to be an environmentally conscientious consumer. So, understandably, I was more than a little upset to learn that I was a flop at energy savings compared to my neighbors. This revelation came through a series of home energy reports from the utility company that services my weekend house 170 miles away in western Maryland.




Private Moon-Drilling Mission Raises Over $1 Million via Crowdfunding

Private Moon-Drilling Mission Raises Over $1 Million via CrowdfundingAn ambitious private space exploration project that aims to land a moon-drilling probe on the lunar surface by 2024 now has the money it needs, thanks to a crowdfunding effort that raised more than $1 million for the mission. The novel Lunar Mission One project surpassed its fundraising goal of nearly 600,000 English pounds (about $945,000) this week on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Lunar Missions Ltd., the United Kingdom-based company funding the project, hopes the mission will advance understanding of how the moon formed and provide useful insights for future moon missions. The Lunar Mission One project is designed to land a probe on the moon that is capable of drilling at least 65 feet (20 meters) below the lunar surface, and hopefully reach a target depth of 328 feet (100 m) inside the moon.




Curiosity Rover's Critics are Missing the Point (Op-Ed)

Curiosity Rover's Critics are Missing the Point (Op-Ed)Marc Kaufman has written about science and international affairs for more than three decades, primarily for The Washington Postand The Philadelphia Inquirer.Kaufman's latest book is "Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission" (National Geographic, 2014).Kaufman contributed this essay to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. To the worldwide legion of enthusiasts following the trek of the Curiosity rover across Mars, the announcement last week that Gale Crater had featured lakes and rivers for potentially tens of millions of years was another important moment in the evolving story of Mars as a once-habitable planet. It's a story line that Curiosity has aggressively developed and now owns, and it is arguably the biggest story in space exploration today. Yet when project scientist John Grotzinger described the team's newest findings, there was a defensiveness of sorts.





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Obama says normalization offers best chance to influence Cuba

U.S. President Obama answers questions after his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonBy Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Normalized relations with Cuba will give the United States its best chance to influence the communist-ruled island, President Barack Obama said on Friday, and he urged Congress to ease the U.S. economic embargo against Havana. Obama, who announced on Wednesday that Washington was restoring diplomatic relations with Havana, said the historic end of decades of hostility between the two countries would not bring quick changes but ultimately would lead to greater freedom for the Cuban people. ...




Obama signs nearly $578 billion defense bill for fiscal 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question after his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed an annual defense policy bill on Friday that authorizes U.S. training for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting Islamic State rebels and sets overall defense spending at nearly $578 billion, including about $64 billion for wars abroad. The legislation, approved by Congress earlier this month, sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the 2015 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, but does not actually appropriate funding. ...




Potential U.S. Republican 2016 contenders spar over Cuba policy

Senator Marco Rubio, (R-FL), the son of Cuban immigrants, speaks during a press conference in MiamiBy Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Neither is officially running for president yet, but potential Republican 2016 presidential candidates Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have trading barbs about Cuba in what were the opening shots of an intraparty fight over U.S. policy toward Havana. Rubio, a Cuban-American freshman senator from Florida, has become the face of Republican opposition to the White House's plan to normalize relations with Cuba. Paul, a Kentucky senator who has fought to shed the "isolationist" label he often receives, had said the Cuban embargo was ineffectual. ...




Obama's year-end message to Americans: I'm not a lame duck

U.S. President Barack Obama departs at the conclusion of his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If U.S. President Barack Obama is feeling the pain from a rough year at the office, he did a great job of covering it up on Friday. Before boarding Air Force One for a vacation in Hawaii, the president gave a year-end news conference with a spring in his step, buoyed by a surge in U.S. economic growth and newly confident after having stymied his Republican critics with unilateral actions on immigration and Cuba. ...




Boston Marathon bombing survivor waves fake leg at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev supporters outside courthouse

Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Makes Rare Court AppearanceMarc Fucarile showed his prosthetic limb to conspiracy theorists who think Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev might be innocent.




Secret Service report: White House needs a taller fence and more, better-trained agents

RNPS - REUTERS NEWS PICTURE SERVICE - PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2014After a prostitution scandal and consternation over how a fence-jumper at the White House got deep into the presidential mansion before he was stopped, the Secret Service needs to make sweeping changes like building a taller fence, hiring many more agents and stepping up their training, an independent commission says.




Hello, Columbus

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.




U.S. Cuba Timeline
President Obama announced that the United States will start to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba as American Alan Gross is returned to the US after five years as a Cuban prisoner.

The Cuban spy at the center of the Obama-Castro deal
On Wednesday, the ringleader of La Red Avispa — a group of Cuban undercover agents who sneaked into South Florida in the 1990s and were arrested by the FBI for spying for Fidel Castro’s government — and two of his associates were released from U.S. prisons and returned home as national heroes. The release is part of a deal between Cuba and the U.S. that is already provoking a storm of controversy. For some, it is an important step toward what could be a landmark diplomatic agreement. But for anti-Castro hard-liners, the deal is a betrayal and capitulation to communist tyranny.

Sony Hacking: President Obama Says Company Made 'Mistake' in Canceling 'The Interview'

Sony Hacking: President Obama Says Company Made 'Mistake' in Canceling 'The Interview'President Obama says Sony Pictures Entertainment made a "mistake" in canceling its planned release of the movie "The Interview" following a destructive cyber attack the U.S. government says was launched by North Korea."Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There were threats against its employees. I’m sympathetic to the concerns that they faced," Obama said. "Having said all that, yes I think they made a mistake. ...





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Technology:

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Obama vows U.S. response to North Korea over Sony cyberattack

U.S. President Obama responds to a question after his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonBy Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to respond to a devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures that he blamed on North Korea, and scolded the Hollywood studio for caving in to what he described as a foreign dictator imposing censorship in America. Obama said the cyberattack caused a lot of damage to Sony but the company should not have let itself be intimidated into halting the public release of "The Interview," a lampoon portraying the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. ...




BlackBerry works with Boeing on phone that self-destructs

The Blackberry sign is pictured in WaterlooWATRERLOO, Ontario (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is working with Boeing Co on Boeing's high-security Android-based smartphone, the Canadian mobile technology company's chief executive said on Friday. The Boeing Black phone being developed by the Chicago-based aerospace and defense contractor, which is best known for jetliners and fighter planes, can self-destruct if it is tampered with. The Boeing Black device encrypts calls and is aimed at government agencies and others that need to keep communications and data secure. ...




Bitcoin backer gets two years prison for illicit transfers

A bitcoin ATM machine is shown at a restaurant in San DiegoBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charlie Shrem, an outspoken supporter of bitcoins, was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday for indirectly helping to send $1 million in the digital currency to the Internet black-market bazaar Silk Road. Shrem, a former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan to forfeit $950,000 after pleading guilty in September to aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmitting business. ...




Staples says security breach may have affected 1.16 million cards

A Staples truck delivers office supplies in San Diego(Reuters) - Office-supply retailer Staples Inc said about 1.16 million payment cards might have been affected by the data breach announced in October. An investigation by external data security experts showed that criminals deployed malware to some point-of-sales systems at 115 U.S. stores, Staples said. The company said it has since eradicated the malware. Staples, which has more than 1,400 stores in the country, said the malware might have allowed access to some transaction data, including cardholder names, payment card numbers, expiration dates, and card verification codes. ...




U.S. judge rejects HP settlement in Autonomy shareholder case

A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo AltoBy Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday rejected Hewlett-Packard Co's proposed settlement of shareholder litigation involving the information technology company's botched acquisition of Autonomy Plc. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco wrote that the settlement may not have been fair for shareholders because it broadly released HP from liability for events unrelated to Autonomy. "The shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices," Breyer wrote. ...




Washington is limited in its response to North Korea over Sony hack

Various lights are cast on a logo of Sony Corp on a podium during its high resolution audio products unveiling event in TokyoBy Anna Yukhananov and James Pearson WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's threat of a "proportional" response to North Korea's hacking of Sony Pictures shows once more the limits of Washington's options as it seeks to rein in one of the world's most unpredictable and isolated countries. U.S. authorities said on Friday investigators had determined that North Korea was behind the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures, setting up a further possible confrontation between the United States and the impoverished state. ...




Japan, South Korea condemn Sony hack; Chinese paper says movie is senseless
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and South Korea condemned a hacking attack on Sony Pictures that the United States has blamed on North Korea and said they would cooperate in international efforts against cyber-crime as asked for by Washington.

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho gestures during an interview with The Associate Press, at his apartment, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Coelho says the Sony hack threatens us all if society doesn't enforce important values against anonymous terrorists. The best-selling author says he was prepared to make himself an example — even if it meant inviting criticism and threats — if Sony Pictures had taken him up on his $100,000 offer for the rights to its cancelled film. (AP Photo/Boris Heger)GENEVA (AP) — 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.




BlackBerry is working on Boeing's long-awaited self-destructing phone

BlackBerry is working on Boeing's long-awaited self-destructing phoneBoeing's mysterious, self-destructing Black phone is getting help in the security department from none other than BlackBerry. During a conference call on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen announced that the company is collaborating with the defense contractor to bake its end-to-end BES 12 platform into the long-gestating Android device.




Sony Pictures CEO says had no choice but to pull 'The Interview'
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Describing the lonely work of leading a company through a devastating cyberattack, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive Michael Lynton on Friday said the Hollywood studio did not make a mistake in pulling satirical film "The Interview."


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Business:

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Wall Street up for third day, led by energy shares

Man carries an umbrella in the rain as he passes the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks extended gains for a third session on Friday, giving the S&P 500 its best weekly performance in nearly two months as energy shares continued to rebound.




Obama vows U.S. response to North Korea over Sony cyberattack

U.S. President Obama responds to a question after his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonBy Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to respond to a devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures that he blamed on North Korea, and scolded the Hollywood studio for caving in to what he described as a foreign dictator imposing censorship in America. Obama said the cyberattack caused a lot of damage to Sony but the company should not have let itself be intimidated into halting the public release of "The Interview," a lampoon portraying the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. ...




Exclusive: GM develops contingency plans in case Takata recalls widen

File photo of General Motors logo outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in DetroitBy Ben Klayman DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co has developed contingency plans in case recalls of potentially lethal Takata-made air bag inflators widens, forcing the U.S. automaker to repair millions of vehicles, the company said on Friday. More than 21 million vehicles have been recalled globally by numerous automakers since 2008 because of defective Takata Corp inflators that could rupture and shoot metal shards into the vehicle and have been linked to at least five deaths. GM's plans include directing Takata to share with rivals TRW and Autoliv the No. 1 U.S. ...




Three air-bag accidents at Boeing plant lead to extra safety measures

Boeing 787 Dreamliner under construction is pictured at the Boeing facility in EverettSEATTLE (Reuters) - Workers at planemaker Boeing's Everett plant near Seattle are following extra safety measures after three air bag-related accidents, including the death of a technician last month, the company said on Friday. No one was seriously hurt when an air bag deployed on Dec. 13 as a seat supplier technician was working on a Zodiac Aerospace seat on a plane being readied for delivery, Boeing spokesman Wilson Chow said. ...




Oil surges 5 percent as bears take profits, seeing $60 floor

An employee of state-owned Pertamina refuels a motorcycle at its petrol station in JakartaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil closed up as much as 5 percent on Friday, its biggest gain in over two years, as some traders took profits on short positions after prices this week hit their lowest since 2009.




Former Chrysler Group expands Takata driver-side air bag recall globally

Takata Corp's company plate is seen at an entrance of the building where the Takata Corp headquarters is located in TokyoDETROIT (Reuters) - FCA US , the former Chrysler Group, on Friday expanded a U.S. regional recall of older cars with potentially defective driver-side Takata air bags to a global action, affecting more than 3.3 million vehicles. FCA was one of five automakers asked by U.S. regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month to expand a recall of such vehicles beyond a limited area with high humidity. The FCA total for Takata Corp -related recalls is now 3,672,770, including affected passenger-side airbags. ...




Oil, stocks go their separate ways

A Wall Street sign is pictured in the rain outside the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors have wrung their hands over the last several weeks over the effect of lower oil prices on the broader S&P 500, but the relationship between the two is actually starting to break down.




EU widens trade row with new Boeing subsidy claim

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in ChicagoGENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union opened a new front in a decade-old dispute over aircraft subsidies on Friday, launching a complaint at the World Trade Organization alleging illegal tax breaks in Boeing's home state of Washington.




Russia's parliament rushes through bill boosting banking capital

People stand in line to withdraw money at an ATM of a bank in central MinskBy Elena Fabrichnaya and Alexander Winning MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's lower house of parliament hastily approved a draft law on Friday that would give the banking sector a capital boost of up to 1 trillion rubles ($16.5 billion). Russia's financial sector is reeling from the economy's slide towards recession, a plunge in the value of the rouble, and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, which have restricted banks' access to international capital markets, sharply raising their funding costs. ...




U.S. labor agency files complaints against McDonald's

A McDonald's restaurant is pictured in Encinitas, CaliforniaBy Daniel Wiessner (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp and some of its franchisees were named jointly in complaints filed on Friday by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board's Office of the General Counsel, accusing them of labor violations in a widely anticipated move that could have wide-reaching implications for businesses. Complaints were filed in 78 cases claiming that McDonald's workers across the country were fired or intimidated for participating in union organizing and in a national protest movement calling for higher wages. ...





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The AP's top 10 movies of the year

FILE - This file image released by Fox Searchlight shows Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)In surveying the year at the movies, the topography is rich. From the dusty, dying towns of "Nebraska" to the rooftop Roman parties in "The Great Beauty" to the sleek future Los Angeles of "Her," 2013 has been a trip. But has it been a great year? Negativity reached a fever pitch in the summer when Steven Spielberg lamented Hollywood's risk-adverse, finance-driven blockbusterism. The grim, humorless "Man of Steel" and its careless backdrop of mass destruction was a low point: the epitome of everything bad about movies today. Yet ambitious films gathered in number as the year went on, and many began calling 2013 a historically excellent year for film, after all. Here are one critic's top picks of the year, all of them reasons why 2013 was a good year for the big screen:




Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks

FILE - This May 18, 2013 file photo shows Hannah Hooper, left, and Christian Zucconi of Grouplove performing as part of Party in the Park at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Grouplove's, “Ways to Go,” was the most viral track on Spotify, from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify. (Photo by Robb D. Cohen/RobbsPhotos/Invision/AP, file)The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.




Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2012 file photo, musician Robin Thicke performs during Macy's Passport presents Glamorama 2012 at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Thicke's "Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)" was the top streamed tracks on Spotify from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)The following list represents the most streamed tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.




Globe nominations for musical or comedy film
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best musical or comedy film have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Golden Globe nominations for TV drama series

In this image released by Showtime, Claire Danes portrays Carrie Mathison in a scene from the Showtime original series, " Homeland." Danes was nominated Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 for a Golden Globe for best actress in a drama series for her role in “ Homeland .“ The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/Showtime, Kent Smith)BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best television drama series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.




Globe nominations for TV comedy series actor
The Golden Globe nominations for best actor in a television comedy series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Golden Globe nominations for TV comedy series
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best television comedy series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Golden Globe nominations for animated film
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best animated film have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Craig Ferguson says good night as 'Late Late Show' host
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Ferguson will spend tomorrow's future yesterdays (as his theme song proclaims) somewhere other than "The Late Late Show." Friday was his last hoorah after a decade as host of the CBS talk show.

Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. The president claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. He also touts his own executive action and a Chinese agreement to combat global warming. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — 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. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.





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