AP WIRE: NEWS

AP Top News at 3:07 p.m. EST

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?
WASHINGTON (AP) - The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools left behind and the involvement of at least one computer in Bolivia previously traced to other attacks blamed on the North Koreans. Experts cautioned that hackers notoriously employ disinformation to throw investigators off their tracks, using borrowed tools, tampering with logs and inserting false references to language or nationality.


Review: 'The Interview' deserves to be seen
That I was one of the relative few to see "The Interview" is not a boast I take any pleasure in. It's with heavy sadness, not pride, that I review Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's North Korean farce. As of Thursday morning, the film has been shelved just a week ahead of its planned release due to terrorist threats by hackers said to be connected to North Korea. The movie's prospects of ever seeing the light of day are very much in doubt.


Exiles divided on plans to thaw US-Cuba relations
MIAMI (AP) - When Cuban and American leaders announced they would restore diplomatic relations after a standoff lasting more than a half-century, all eyes in the U.S. immediately turned to Miami, where many expected the country's largest population of Cuban exiles to pour angrily into the streets. Outrage was decidedly muted, however, with only a handful of demonstrations, while some of the expatriates known for their support of isolationist tactics actually expressed support for the changes.


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Key elements of US policy shift toward Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. and Cuba will begin taking steps to restore full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in more than half a century. Key elements of changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba, some of which President Barack Obama announced at the White House this week: ESTABLISHING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS


AP IMPACT: Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect
BUTTE, Montana (AP) - At least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities - many of them beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger, The Associated Press has found. To determine that number, the AP canvassed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and all branches of the military - circumventing a system that does a terrible job of accounting for child deaths. Many states struggled to provide numbers. Secrecy often prevailed.


Judge: Slender Man stabbing defendant competent
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - One of two girls accused of stabbing a classmate in a southeastern Wisconsin park to please a fantasy character known as Slender Man is competent to stand trial for attempted homicide, a judge ruled Thursday. A state psychiatrist determined that the girl would be able to assist in her defense, but her attorney disputed the finding, saying he had a report from another doctor who disagreed. Both reports are sealed.


Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013
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. Security was tight at the federal courthouse in Boston for Tsarnaev's final pretrial conference. Tensions ran high, and one bombing victim had a testy exchange with protesters outside.


Slain German teen's parents testify about ordeal
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The parents of a German exchange student who was shot to death by a Montana man while trespassing in his garage told a judge Thursday their dreams are broken. Celal and Gulcin Dede testified about the impact of their 17-year-old son's death, saying they've been unable to work or plan for the future.


Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence
NEW YORK (AP) - Federal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of reforms at the Rikers Island jail complex and address what a Justice Department investigation found was a "deep-seated culture of violence" toward young inmates. The move comes a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the 10-jail lockup to announce the end of solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates, a policy change initiated after the 2 1/2-year federal probe released in August.


Bruce and Kris Jenner finalize divorce
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Court records show Kris and Bruce Jenner have finalized their divorce, but they won't be officially single until March. A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday signed off on the couple's divorce judgment that ends the pair's 23-year marriage.

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